A Running Jump (2012) Poster

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The energy and consistency in the delivery makes it engaging
bob the moo8 October 2012
A Running Jump is a slice of life film from Mike Leigh but it differs from some of his other films because it was made as part of the 2012 Olympics program of films and within it he seems to be trying to capture the "sport" within normal life of people in the East End of London. The plot focuses on a used car salesman rushing to try and get a sale through and in the process of this it drags in his family members who are also doing various activities from driving a cab to teaching a gym class to drinking at the pub. The plot doesn't really matter though because even Leigh described this film as a series of gags and, unfortunately, they are not specific jokes that will make you laugh so in that regard the film didn't work for me.

What did work though and what makes it worth seeing is that it has a great energy to the delivery. The cast, the direction, the dialogue, the music; all of it has a constant movement and pace to it that is quite engaging and caught me up in it quite easily. The various characters come and go across the scenes and they mostly all tie in loosely with the main character doing his thing, but following them all is quite fun, again because of the energy. The camera moves round with a good pace but not in a frantic or annoying way – very smooth and consistent. The cast mostly do the same as well, very natural even if at times the dialogue has an abrasive edge to it. I liked that the film did manage to do the main thing it set out to do though, which was show this activity and sport in day to day life.

It is all pretty evident but in fairness it doesn't have to be all arch and clever about it because it is a true picture to paint to show jogging, people at the gym, people rushing around for work and of course people having discussions about sport and in particular football. This all has a natural ring to it that again I thought worked well. A Running Jump isn't a brilliant film but it has clear parameters and it achieves them really well thanks to the energetic and engaging delivery that is consistent across all aspects of the short film.
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7/10
A fun half hour
Jonathan_S226 June 2012
Seen as part of a programme of four shorts for the London 2012 Festival, Mike Leigh's short film follows a hectic day in the life of used car salesman Eddie Marsan and his family.

It's entertaining, drawing its humour from larger than life characters, moves at a break-neck pace and cleverly incorporates the sport theme by showing how it's involved in the everyday lives of ordinary people - this is done so subtly that you don't even realise it at the time.

In the end though, the humour is all there is, the characters are more caricatures who it's difficult to get care too much about, and there's no emotional pay-off to all the frenetic running around.
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5/10
Too short, felt unfinished.
deloudelouvain26 February 2019
There is no bad acting in A running Jump so for that maybe it deserves a better rating, but I'm basing my ratings mostly on the story and the fact that if I was entertained or not, and for that the plot is just too weak to be interesting. To me it just feels like an unfinished long play movie. 35 minutes is just not enough to bring a story like this one. It all looks very rushed and compressed. And it's not the sometimes excellent acting that makes this movie better than it actually is. Eddie Marsan is a good actor and I was surprised he played in a short movie like this one.
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