Director Prasad made us laugh with My Son the Fanatic, but Lee Hall's adaptation of his own play I Luv You Jimmy Spud goes for more transcendent pay-offs. The emotional breastbaring Hall displayed in Billy Elliot is upped here, as is his muscular symbolism. Jimmy (Landless), a working-class lad from Newcastle, talks to an angel, Gabriel (Connolly). Looking to join the ranks, Jimmy makes his own wings and takes fledgling flights, at one point diving to save an Asian boy scout from drowning. Glen is effective and moving as Jimmy's redundant shipworker father, whose sufferings are the wellspring for the boy's imaginative leap into the world of the miraculous. There are also nicely turned performances from Rowell as mam and Bradley as the gentle, politically aware grandparent. As father's illness progresses, Jimmy sings to him in a sweet scene that exposes, by contrast, a tendency to dissipation in many others. No complaints about Landless (okay, maybe the boy could do with a few more rough edges), but visually, the film is a little disappointing, though it sticks to its broadly democratic appeal.
Gabriel & Me
Cast and crew