Kisses (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner15/07/2009

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 75 mins

Beautifully shot, stunningly directed and emotionally engaging drama, featuring terrific performances from young newcomers Kelly O'Neill and Shane Curry.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Lance Daly, Kisses stars newcomer Shane Curry as Dylan, a young boy who decides to run away to Dublin after the latest altercation with his violent father (Paul Roe). His friend and next door neighbour Kylie (Kelly O'Neill) helps him escape and together they hitch a ride from a friendly barge captain (David Bendito) and travel into Dublin via the canal.

Dylan's initial plan is to search the city for his older brother, who also ran away, but he proves harder to find than expected. On top of that, as the night draws in, Dylan and Kylie soon realise that Dublin isn't quite the magical paradise they'd thought it was.

The Good
Daly shoots the opening scenes in stark black and white, but the further away from home the runaways get, the more colour begins to seep into their lives. In other hands, this could have been a horribly mawkish gimmick, but Daly handles it extremely well (it's so subtle that at first, you think you're imagining it) and it has a terrific pay-off in the final scene.

The two young leads are excellent and have strong chemistry together, although it does take a few minutes to get used to Curry's accent and he mumbles some of his earlier lines. There's also a delightful cameo from Stephen Rea as a Bob Dylan impersonator who offers Dylan and Kylie some good advice (it's probably fair to say that Daly goes slightly overboard with the Dylan references but at least it makes for a good soundtrack).

The Great
The film is well paced and Daly maintains a suitably tense atmosphere throughout, so that you're constantly aware of the potential danger in each encounter, even if the children aren't. Similarly, the sharply written script is refreshingly free from sentimentality and the developing relationship between the two leads is both well written and extremely moving.

Worth seeing?
This is a thoroughly engaging, beautifully directed and superbly acted drama that confirms writer-director Daly as a talent to watch. Highly recommended and one of the best films of the year.

Film Trailer

Kisses (15)
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Content updated: 19/10/2017 23:08

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