Adult Life Skills

Film, Comedy
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Adult Life Skills

Jodie Whittaker brings light and life to this unambitious British indie.

With so many oddball indie films being made, it wouldn’t be surprising if we all developed an allergy to eccentricity – sneezing and wheezing the instant a character appears on screen wearing green tights.

How much you love this low-budget British effort will depend on your tolerance to quirkiness. Brilliant Jodie Whittaker (the mum of the murdered boy in ‘Broadchurch’) stars as kooky Anna. She’s just about to turn 30 and is still living at home, in a shed in her mum’s garden in Yorkshire where she makes videos using her thumbs as characters.

Whittaker is real and likeable, and there are some very funny lines in this female-centred film, like Anna’s mum’s withering putdowns: ‘There’s a hair on your chin I could swing off.’ (These are coming from a good place, wanting to get Anna back out in the world after a tragedy). But it feels like first time director Rachel Tunnard is trying too hard, piling on the offbeat characters in Wes Anderson-weird costumes. ‘Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off,’ said Coco Chanel. What applies to earrings works for films too.

By: Cath Clarke

Posted:

Release details

Release date: Friday June 24 2016
Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rachel Tunnard
Screenwriter: Rachel Tunnard
Cast: Jodie Whittaker
Lorraine Ashbourne
Brett Goldstein

Average User Rating

4 / 5

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tastemaker

A truly delightful British indie movie


This film sums up what we Brits do well – a somewhat melancholic story told with warmth and humour. An unsentimental tale told with compassion. Also, puns. There is so much to love about this film that I suspect I’ll be championing it for a long while yet. 


I loved every single one of the characters. I really felt like Anna became a friend whilst watching the film, she’s so well-rounded both in characterisation and performance. I’ve loved watching Whittaker in everything I’ve seen her in (Good Vibrations is my personal favourite) and her performance here is no exception. Fiona is brilliant as the best friend desperately trying to help her lost friend. Brett Goldstein, who was wonderful in last year’s little known indie flick SuperBob, is just as good here. He is great at playing a logical figure to Anna’s less-than-logical thought processes, providing a truly earnest performance. Pus the man is an expert at eyebrow acting.


‘Adult Life Skills’ is now easily in my top five films of the year so far.  Whilst Mother’s Day may be filling cinema screens with a national release, profiting on cheap and disingenuous sentiment, it is films like this we should be rooting for.  When the film ended it felt like I was saying goodbye to newfound friends.