Red Road

I always had a thing for Andrea Arnold way back in her days on No 73. I can’t remember why. But, it made me happy when she won the Oscar for her film Wasp. Which, I’ve never seen.

This, her first full feature, has been made in conjunction with a project instigated by Danish nob Lars Von Trier. The idea being that three directors will make three movies with a prescribed set of characters. I, for one, wish I hadn’t known this at the outset – but all the press has been full of it. Mainly because I’ve seen ideas like this done to a much better level. Most notably in Lucas Belvaux‘s Trilogie. As a result I spent a lot of this film looking at the incidental characters and wondering what the other stories will be.

So basic plotting: Jackie is a CCTV operator. She spots a man that has something vaguely (although not vaguely enough) disturbing to do with her past. She starts to follow him, and not just by camera.

There’s a type of scots actor that makes me feel like someone’s dragging nails across my grave. I cannot bare to hear John Gordon Sinclair to open his mouth. No-one talks like that. (FWIW ‘Gorgeous’ George G and ‘Mad’ Tommy S have the same thing.) However, the three ‘central’ (by which I mean they get most screen time and dialogue) actors in this are really good. There’s a naturalism to their performances that I’ve not seen the like of for ages. And, Arnold manages to make some of the worst parts of Glasgow look almost like the mean streets of NY. I’m almost tempted to move to the Garngad. (Actually, something I once tried to do.)

Unfortunately, the rest of the film is not as tense, intriguing or ‘thrilling’ as it should really be. Good first effort. Get back to us when you’ve got it sussed.

And, what’s with the happy ending? Have you never been to this city?


Written by Tony Kiernan

01 November 2006 at 10:41 pm

Posted in Film

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