Second Best

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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.

By: WH

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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