With his junkie mum in jail and struggling to get clean, and her violent lover requiring his help in self-serving dirty deeds, 15-year-old Liam dreams of a better life. So he takes to dealing drugs with his chaotic mate Pinball, hoping he'll have enough put away to buy a caravan before mum gets out, and finds himself up against a local Mr Big. Loach and scriptwriter Laverty's look at young Scottish lives stifled by crime, family strife, poverty and lack of opportunity is one of their best efforts, with the message mercifully never drowning out the drama. The naturalistic performances help no end, of course, particularly the very likeable lead turn from Compston, and the dialogue has enough dry Scottish wit to counterbalance the prevailing downbeat mood. Only the predictable (but perhaps necessary) final few minutes manage to disappoint.
Cast and crew