Woods' brilliantly controlled feature debut is a fierce study of male violence, family loyalty and domestic imprisonment. Yet despite a Ken Loach-style attention to social context and non-judgmental observation, his dissection of the twisted psycho dynamics of an imploding 'white trash' family pushes beyond naturalism into a realm of forced hyper-realism. Fresh out of prison, sentimental psychopath Brett Sprague (Wenham) struggles to contain the seething resentments and external pressures that threaten to tear his family apart. In the course of one drink'n'drug-fuelled day, the fraught relationships between Brett, his downtrodden mother (Curran), his two brothers Glenn (Polson) and Stevie (Hayes), and his sullen girlfriend Michelle (Collette) reach breaking point; caught in the crossfire are Stevie's timid, pregnant girlfriend Nola (Lise) and Glenn's socially aspiring wife Jackie (Cronin). Trapped in a destructive cycle of social deprivation and self-exclusion, the brothers lash out, particularly at the women. Intercutting spiralling domestic madness with flashes forward to its consequences, this terrifying vision of social exclusion, male insecurity and frustrated rage builds inexorably to a controlled explosion of savagery.
Cast and crew