Neds ****

Running time: 124 mins  Certificate: 18

Synopsis: A clever Glaswegian teenager John (Conor McCarron) has to grows up in the shadow of his thug of an older brother and an alcoholic father. It is not long before he swaps the classroom for violent streets of the city.

It has been a long time since Peter Mullan made the gripping Magdalene Sisters and his latest effort does not disappoint.

The Scottish director turned star has made a gripping, tense dramatic piece, that is far more violent than his previous film or Orphans. It captures the setting of the 70’s perfectly, with bright colours, bold fashions and Glam Rock. But it is in the acting the film really excels.

Everyone in the film is exceptional, impressive since most of the actors are amateurs and have never even been in front of a camera. It is raw naturalistic acting at it’s finest. Everyone plays their part and is equally memorable. McCarron’s powerful portrayal of a teenager who has lost his way is one of the best debut performances in recent years.

The suffers a little due to it’s length, the ending especially feels like a last minute decision made by the director even although it is an intriguing way to finish a film.

In a perfect world, it would be this British effort that would be sweeping the award ceremonies instead of a damp Royal effort. Hopefully in time, this will become more praised. 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

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