It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for. Adam Wimpenny’s film Roar
is a slow-burning look at what happens when a customer gives a well-meaning
key-cutter the brushoff. Jodie Whittaker’s Eva has just had a dodgy experience
picking up her dry cleaning from Tom Burke’s salacious Mick and Tom, Russell
Tovey, who works in the same shop follows her to make amends. But she
understandably doesn’t want to know and J.S. Hill’s story turns its gaze onto
Tom and the loneliness of his life. It’s Christmastime and so his estrangement
from his father cuts particularly hard but as his attempts at contact are
rebuffed, something breaks inside of him… Wimpenny builds the tension of the
film excellently, giving us a sense of how desolate watching others’ festive
joy can make a person and finding genuinely chilling moments to make us jump.
Not one to watch on your own in the dark.
A bit of campy nonsense to finish off with in Richard West’s Corpse. An overly
precious and highly hammy ageing thespian is outraged when his star performance
in a poky little show is entirely upstaged by a last minute stand-in who plays
a corpse. Philip Jackson’s deluded Harold Brazier is good fun as is Oliver
Chris’ dopey light technician who is the one roped in to play the stiff yet
finds himself the centre of all attention and thus the target of Brazier’s
murderous ambition. A framing device feels a little heavy-handed and not
entirely necessary but it is all amiable enough.
The Last Temptation of Chris
Written and directed by Marcus Markou, The Last Temptation of Chris is a 10
minute drama starring Ed Stoppard as a former banker turned marriage guidance
counsellor who is forced onto the horns of a dilemma when his first girlfriend
and her husband become his new clients. They don’t declare their former
attachment and find that old flames still burn brightly, presenting Chris with
the ethical quandary of whether to choose the personal over the professional.
It is well acted – Stoppard has one of those fascinating faces I could stare at
all day, Imogen Slaughter is inscrutably interesting as Nicky and James Garnon
is good as the unknowing cuckold. It doesn’t quite pack the emotional punch it
could but is elegantly shot and well-paced.
A rather daffy but good-hearted animated clip about the trials a relationship
goes through when a woman returns from a trip away having completely changed
shaped. Alan Davies is all baffled charm and Katherine Parkinson exudes prickly
sensitivity as they skirt around the issue until finally, the filo breaks… Yasmeen
Ismail and Peter Baynton’s animation has a pleasing simplicity and Ismail, who
also directed and wrote it, should definitely be proud of it.
Love Does Grow On Trees
Love Does Grow On Trees is “set in a time before the internet, the more
innocent days of the late 1980s…” and though it would be probably be pilloried
for perpetuating popular perception about pornography, Bevan Walsh’s film is
actually really rather gorgeous. Danny is your archetypal teenage boy, obsessed
with getting a look at a dirty mag any which way he can but when opportunity
unexpectedly falls his way, he comes to realise the value of real life
interaction with girls. Luke Ward-Wilkinson is an appealing hero, especially
when trying his best with El Krajewski’s sweet potential love interest and a
cameo from Tom Brooke as the patron saint of porn is inspired brilliance.
Labels: Ed Stoppard, Film, George Potts, James Garnon, Jodie Whittaker, Katherine Parkinson, Melanie Gray, Oliver Chris, Philip Jackson, Russell Tovey, Tom Brooke, Tom Burke