London To Brighton (18)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/11/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 85 mins

Gripping, smartly directed and extremely suspense laden thriller with strong dialogue and superb performances from its two leads.

What's it all about?
Lorraine Stanley stars as Kelly, a prostitute who has taken 11 year old runaway Joanne (Georgia Groome) under her wing. The film opens with a distressed and beaten-up Kelly forcing Joanne to hide in a toilet cubicle while she quickly makes enough money for them to get away.

Kelly and Joanne flee to Brighton and a series of cleverly structured flashbacks gradually reveal how they met and exactly what happened to make them go on the run. However, they're not out of danger and it quickly becomes clear that some dangerous criminals are after them, including Kelly's pimp, Derek (Johnny Harris), his sidekick (Nathan Constance), and the decidedly creepy son (Sam Spruell) of an aging mob boss.

The Good
London to Brighton is the first feature by British writer director Paul Andrew Williams, who deservedly picked up an award for Best New Director at the Edinburgh Film Festival. The film is a cut above the usual gangster-related rubbish with strong, realistic dialogue, superb location work and achingly sympathetic lead characters.

The performances are excellent, particularly Stanley whose strength of character provides a note of hope to cling to when things look bleak. There's also strong support from Harris and Spruell as the two main crims, both of whom are terrifying but in subtly different ways. Harris especially does well to make Derek even remotely sympathetic.

The Great
Williams orchestrates some nail-bitingly suspense laden scenes and the fate of the main characters is always in doubt, heightened by the fact that no-one would really miss them if they disappeared. There are several nice touches here, chief amongst them is a heartbreaking final shot.

Worth seeing?
This is a gripping, superbly acted and impressively directed thriller. Paul Andrew Williams emerges as a genuine talent to watch and it will be interesting to see what he does next. Recommended.

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Content updated: 20/07/2018 03:46

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