written and directed by lynne ramsay
starring william eadie, tommy flanagan and mandy matthews.
You could argue that we've had enough of this type of grimy Glaswegian down-trodden fair, with yer subtitles and alcoholic father overture, but Ratcatcher proves there's still much to be done with the "genre". Detailing the life of twelve-year old James in the run-down and garbage strewn suburb of Govan, the film functions both as a murky trawl through a depressed mind /environment and a jolly jape through a pastoral wonderland just a bus trip away. Neither vision is denied, both trying to find equal place in a world bleeding at the edges, a semi-surreal childhood state of non-sequitur and random cruelty. William Eadie is fantastic as the young James, and the supporting cast all bring distinctive touches to their characters. Director Lynne Ramsay displays remarkable promise in her debut feature, able to give us unremitting bleakness and flights of inspired poetry. She keeps this daydream reality close to the day to day existence of these characters, avoiding show-offy nihilism and degradation. What can I say: any film which finds a place for Arab Strap and Nick Drake is fine by me.
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