Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Feb 16 2010Although made for television and already transmitted on C4, actress Samantha Morton’s directorial debut definitely has a cinematic feel. Long unflinching takes, imposing frontal compositions and expressive use of colour and sound mark this portrait of the institutional care which fails 11-year-old Lucy (Molly Windsor, pictured) after she can no longer live with her estranged parents (Robert Carlyle, Susan Lynch). Given Morton’s own troubled personal history, there’s obviously an autobiographical element here, yet it’s remarkable how she sublimates any residual anger into the film’s sombre and sincere accumulation of detail, which illustrates camaraderie and rebellion, unwitting neglect and – sadly – manipulative abuse within the clinical environs of a Nottingham children’s home. Windsor’s taciturn and stoic central performance is both haunting and affecting, framed by Morton’s deliberate, even stately direction. Thankfully though, this isn’t a conventional film, but a campaigning document, an act of solidarity and a bold, emotionally piercing personal statement.
Author: Trevor Johnston