Second Best

  • Film
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William Hurt, who works in a sub-Post Office in rural Wales, is the son of self-absorbed parents. He decides to adopt a child and is finally allocated the disturbed son of Keith Allen's wild survivalist con. The movie starts in a threatening register with the boy being 'abducted' from school and taken to a woodland foxhole where he is forced to promise to love only his father, and then settles down to a 'Play for Today'-like examination of the difficult path towards trust and acceptance between boy and adopted father. Hurt excels in these buttoned-down roles and his performance here is something of an exemplar, full of intelligence and feeling. Allen's character and performance are misguided, but they don't scupper the film.

Release details

Duration: 101 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Chris Menges
Screenwriter: David Cook
Cast: William Hurt
Chris Cleary Miles
Jane Horrocks
Keith Allen
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