Beauty can be painfully raw and hopeless … in the hands of the right writer/director. Clio Barnard has put together a very strong piece of cinema whose images keep popping back into your head weeks after watching it.
The Selfish Giant is a story of life in Northern England for young impoverished children eager to make something of themselves but lacking the correct environmental influences in which to do so. The narrative follows two young boys, uninterested in school, eager to get out into the real world to make better men of themselves than their fathers are.
The cast is very strong all round. A special mention for child actors Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas, who deliver far beyond what we should expect from such young people. Kudos to casting director Amy Hubbard for finding should promising young talent.
The story is bleak but what lifts you up is the power of this medium in the right pair of hands. Outstanding.
As always, I recommend you don’t ruin any surprises by reading spoilers or watching trailers.
Title: The Selfish Giant
Direction: Clio Barnard
Screenplay: Clio Barnard
Cinematography: Mike Eley
Editing: Nick Fenton
Score: Harry Escott
Stars: Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder, Siobhan Finneran, Lorraine Ashbourne
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