Hallam Foe (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/08/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Impressively directed drama from the director of Young Adam, featuring a superb performance from Jamie Bell and a terrific soundtrack.

What's it all about?
Jamie Bell plays troubled 17-year-old Hallam Foe, who lives in the Scottish highlands and gets his kicks largely from spying on people, whether it be local horny teenagers or his feline stepmother, Verity (Claire Forlani), who he blames for his mother's tragic death. After a disturbing confrontation with Verity, Hallam runs away to Edinburgh where he talks his way into a job in a hotel kitchen so that he can be near personnel officer Kate (Sophia Myles), who bears an extraordinary resemblance to his mother.

Before long, Hallam is using a combination of a rooftop hideaway, a pair of binoculars and his own remarkable climbing abilities to spy on Kate. However, when he realises that she's having an affair with Alasdair (Jamie Sives), the seedy hotel manager, he's forced to declare himself, even though it means revealing his Peeping Tom proclivities.

The Good
Jamie Bell is superb as Hallam, delivering an intensely complex performance that keeps you on your toes, as you're never quite sure just how sympathetic he's supposed to be. Hallam's behaviour is frequently disturbing and there are hints of a much greater darkness bubbling away underneath, but at the same time, he's extremely likeable and you genuinely root for him.

There's also terrific support from Claire Forlani (in a performance that's simultaneously sexy and terrifying), as well as solid turns from Ciaran Hinds (as Hallam's dad), a brilliantly slimy Jamie Sives and Sophia Myles, who's intriguingly unpredictable as Kate.

The Great
David Mackenzie uses gorgeous photography throughout and gets terrific use from his Edinburgh locations. In addition, the film has a great soundtrack that features original songs from the likes of Franz Ferdinand.

Worth seeing?
Despite a slightly anti-climactic ending, this is a beautifully realised and thoroughly enjoyable drama with a terrific performance from Jamie Bell. Highly recommended.

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Hallam Foe (18)
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Content updated: 23/10/2017 07:05

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