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Poor Wee Me (2010)


Simon Powell


Simon Powell (story and screenplay)


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Credited cast:
Lee Antley Lee Antley ... Factory Worker 2
Tim Booth ... Gabriel De Souza
Anthony Crank Anthony Crank ... Jimmy
Tigga Goulding Tigga Goulding ... Auntie Mags
Stella Grundy Stella Grundy ... Jean
Michelle Holmes ... Val
Paul Hurstfield ... Gavin Brookes
Sue Jaynes Sue Jaynes ... Jenny
Lewis Marsh Lewis Marsh ... Leo
Wes Nike Wes Nike ... Gym Instructor (as Wesley Nike)
Ian Puleston-Davies ... Man of the Cloth
Danny Ryder ... Letting Agent (as Danny Stewart)
Clay Whitter Clay Whitter ... Factory Worker 1 (as Clayton Whitter)


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Release Date:

10 October 2010 (UK) See more »


Box Office


£2,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Friday Night Films See more »
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Technical Specs


Color (HDCAM)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

Poor Wee Me is the debut feature film from Simon Powell
5 October 2012 | by jimone36See all my reviews

Just before the start of tonight's cast and crew preview screening at Salford's Vue Cinema, writer and director, Simon Powell announces that the entire budget of Poor Wee Me was just £1,380. This is not an apology and is certainly in no way an excuse. It is merely a proud boast of what can be achieved with determination, perseverance and a favour or three. This is Powell's feature-length debut, following some well-received short films and was made almost entirely in Salford.

Poor Wee Me centres around forty-something Gavin (Paul Hurstfield) and his struggle to bounce back from the double whammy of the loss of his job and partner. Redundancy explains his new found unemployment, a familiar tale in recent times. The breakdown of the relationship is a far darker story, long-suffering partner, Jenny (Sue Jaynes) finally tired of his bursts of controlling rage. Ironically, it is this violent temper which sees Gavin back in employment. His reaction to a group of unruly youths in a cinema (Salford's Vue, of course) is witnessed by the boss of a debt collection agency, Gabriel De Souza (Tim Booth), who offers him a job on the spot. This pairs Gavin with Jimmy (Anthony Crank), a Performing Arts graduate, who appears to view his role as a debt collector as further acting practice. As the relationship with Jimmy develops, the dyslexic Gavin is, at the same time, teaching himself to read, getting help for his anger issues and, as a result, slowly losing his edge.

Crank sparkles as Jimmy, all home-spun philosophy and menacing charm. The intensity of the performance from Hurstfield, meanwhile, ensures that the first rule of character acting is quickly achieved; you actually care what happens to Gavin.

Booth is better known as the front man of Manchester band, james. He doesn't get a huge amount of screen time but is utterly convincing as the boss of the debt collection agency and succeeds, in the short time he gets, in making De Souza entirely unlikeable. Other standout performances come from Ian Mercer, as Gavin's loyal friend, Mike, who steals the majority of the comedy moments and Mark Winstanley as Gavin's understated counsellor.

The writing, whilst unafraid of focussing on the mundane, completely avoids working-class cliché and leaves as much un-said as is possible on the big screen. This is complemented by the direction, all facial close-ups and powerful silence. The result is that Poor Wee Me is more closely allied to Shelagh Delaney's fifties kitchen sink drama A Taste Of Honey, albeit with a twenty-first century grittiness, than more recent British films.

The pivotal moment of the film, when Gavin realises that his employment by De Souza no longer suits his new state of calm, is entirely unspoken. Instead, we see Gavin, alternatively, dancing, staring into his pint and reminiscing, all sound-tracked by modern james classic, I Want To Go Home. Breathtaking stuff.

And then there is the ending, which is as un-Hollywood as it is possible to be. Recently, I was present when two former best mates met each other again in Manchester after almost a decade of no contact. They nodded at one another and then went to the pub. The finale to Poor Wee Me feels, to me, like the cinematic equivalent. OK, so some people may yearn for happily ever after, or even some kind of conclusion but don't let this put you off. This is real life, baby. Real Salford life.

Review by Mike Nuttall

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