Friday, November 24, 2006

Red Road (2006)

Cert 18

On a tough Glaswegian housing estate where grim tower blocks dominate the skyline, Jackie (Kate Dickie), a CCTV operator, spends her day watching multi-screen footage of people going about their business from her multitude of cameras. All seems pretty normal until she spots a man from her past who we eventually learn was involved in the death of her husband and child. Jackie soon becomes obssessed with Clyde, played by Tony Curran, and begins to follow him with revenge in mind.

Red Road, the Cannes jury prize-winning thriller also won five awards at the Scottish Baftas, including best actress for Kate Dickie, best actor for Tony Curran, best Screenplay and best film. Andrea Arnold picked up awards for best director and best screenplay.

Red Road was Arnold's feature-length debut, having previously won an Oscar for her short film Wasp in 2003. She caused controversy when she forewent the traditional thank you speech, declaring the win as "the dog's bollocks".

Likened to Michael Haneke's style of atmoshpere and tension, Red Road builds gently. It feeds us information gradually which makes the film seem slow at times, but this only adds to the intensity. The wordless scenes where Jackie spies on Clyde make the atmosphere uncomfortable but at the same time compelling as Jackie's camera pans in on her pray. The extremely raw and graphic sex scene between Jackie and Clyde is not only disturbing for the seedy surrounding of Clyde's bedroom, but for the fact that Jackie actually seems to enjoy it.

The ending is slightly unsatisfying, but Red Road is still an intelligent thriller with gritty and realistic acting from the two lead performances - a fine debut.

15 comments:

martinobhoy said...

It was described in the papers up here as Rear Window with Glasgow flats which seemed a rather lazy description to me so thanks for the more detailed review.

ginkers said...

It has certainly won a lot of praise (particularly in Scotland, naturally). I may well see it in three years time when I get a break from watching Jungle Book, Madagascar and Over the Hedge for the 83rd time!

Martha Elaine Belden said...

must add to my netflix now!

thanks for the wonderful review :)

Alex said...

Hope this flick makes it to Blockbuster over here in Italy. Sounds interesting.

By the way your black background looks ever so sleek on my PC screen! Cool.

Alex

a.c.t said...

Martino, if that's the kind of reviews you get up there, maybe there's a career for me up in Scotland ;-)

Ginkers, what can I say, be patient. Just think how great it'll be when your boy is 18 and you'll be able to watch films together.

Martha, you're welcome, hope you get around to seeing it.

Alex, somehow I've got a feeling it won't. And anyway, it's charm will be completely lost without the gritty Glaswegian accents.
Black's my favourite colour, but it was a bit too black, so I added a bit of blue to the title.

Susan in Italy said...

Will see if this ever gets to Italy. I'm pretty bad at getting Glaswegian accents, though. Maybe this'll be one time Italy's penchant for dubbing all foreign language films will work out well. So let me ask you, is it easy for you to understand, say, the average Ken Loach movie? I love his films but it takes me a good 5 minutes to start understanding what everybody's saying. Is it just an American thing?

a.c.t said...

I've got a Glaswegian friend, so I'm used to the accent and their little quirks like "I'm heading up doon the rood to me scratcher" whereas we would say "I'm going home to bed".
If you find understanding Scottish accents difficult you should try reading Trainspotting. It's all written as its pronounced - it took me ages to get used to, I nearly gave up to begin with.

mat said...

Not a film for me then on account of the accent. Although I have been in England for over 30 years, I still think that Scottish is a foreign language which I have yet to learn.

martinobhoy said...

Whit dae yeese mean, ye cannae unnerstan oor accents?

ginkers said...

Ah ken Martino, whit ur aw yon glaikit gowks haverin aboot?

a.c.t said...

I was wondering if you two would take the bate ;-)

ginkers said...

We are guaranteed to bite, every time...

martinobhoy said...

Pair a feckin eejits, that's us.

wrinkled weasel said...

Finally got off yer bum to blog then.

a.c.t said...

Cheeky git!

Actually I find it rather diffult to blog standing up :-p