7.3/10
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43 user 128 critic

The Selfish Giant (2013)

Not Rated | | Drama | 25 October 2013 (UK)
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Two thirteen year-old working-class friends in Bradford seek fortune by getting involved with a local scrap dealer and criminal.

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, (inspired by 'The Selfish Giant')
12 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Arbor
... Swifty
... Johnny Jones
... Mick Brazil
Everal Walsh ... Railway Man (as Everal A. Walsh)
... Kitten
... Mary
... Martin Fenton
Rebecca Manley ... Michelle 'Shelly' Fenton
John Wall ... School Nurse
Mohammed Ali ... Mo
... Teacher
... 'Price Drop' Swift
... Mrs. Swift
Bailey Clapham ... Swift Child
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Storyline

An official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about 13 year old Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Shaun Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighborhood, the two boys meet Kitten (Sean Gilder), a local scrap dealer. Wandering their town with just a horse and a cart, they begin collecting scrap metal for him. Swifty has a natural gift with horses while Arbor emulates Kitten - keen to impress him and make some money. However, Kitten favors Swifty, leaving Arbor feeling hurt and excluded, driving a wedge between the boys. As Arbor becomes increasingly greedy and exploitative, tensions build, leading to a tragic event that transforms them all. Written by Sundance Selects

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

25 October 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Le géant égoïste  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$132,128 (United Kingdom), 25 October 2013, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,589, 20 December 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$10,531, 3 January 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clio Barnard based Arbor and Swifty on two children she met while filming The Arbor (2010) who worked as scrappers. See more »

Quotes

Policeman: This is a formal interview under caution. Do you understand that, Fenton? Hey, do you understand?
Arbor: Yeah.
Policeman: A witness saw two youths burning railway or communications cable.
Michelle 'Shelly' Fenton: That's nowt to do with him.
Policeman: Cable theft is a very serious crime, Mrs. Fenton. Trespass on the railway is £1,000 fine.
Arbor: I ain't been on railway.
Policeman: Vandalism, endangering lives, maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Michelle 'Shelly' Fenton: He's just a kid. He ain't nicked no cable. You're looking at wrong place.
Policeman: He is, as you say, Mrs. Fenton, a minor. ...
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Connections

Featured in The EE British Academy Film Awards (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Conspiracy
by Bill Brown
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User Reviews

 
A 'Kes' for the 21st century
18 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

This film is stunning - a visually powerful glimpse into a savage, precarious world, with humour and tenderness.

It can't just be reduced to a political diatribe, although the post-industrial setting is bleak and the poverty grinding. Mainly it's the story of a young lad's struggle towards adulthood, ahead of his time and in tough circumstances, as he learns the hard way what it is to be a grown-up.

The echoes of 'Kes' are obvious, but with the destruction of that old industrial world the characters too are ambiguous and troubled. Arbor is a complex mix of ruthlessness, cheekiness and wit. We see his character develop from being a cocky little tawt to something altogether more complicated and touching...


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