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SWEET SIXTEEN

Wednesday, April 24
2:20

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U.K., Germany, Spain, 2002
Directed by Ken Loach
Written by Paul Laverty
With Martin Compston, Annmarie Fulton, William Ruane
Approx. 106 mins. 35mm.


“A quick, deft life-on-the-streets drama… indelible because of Mr. Loach's bold, direct framing of the narrative and the casual dynamism of its young star, Martin Compston. Like so many poor boys raised by single mothers, Liam (Mr. Compston) is compelled by a commitment to be the male center of his parent's life by any means necessary. All of the fight has gone out of his mother, though; she's chattel for her bottom-feeder mate, Stan (Gary McCormack), a drug dealer, and is doing time in his place… The petty crime and vandalism he takes to with his anxious friend Pinball (William Ruane) are partly a response to their circumstances. Tossed out of the house with nowhere else to land, Liam begins a criminal career to obtain access to the lifestyle of hard cash and easy money that he admires. He also wants to fulfill his modest dream of being the man of the house, which means he can buy the trailer he has his eye on - a real home for his mother when she's finally released, on his 16th birthday.” – Elvis Mitchell, The New York Times
 

Reviews

"Martin Compston, who plays Liam, had never appeared in so much as a school play before he auditioned while still in high school for SWEET SIXTEEN, but he inhabits Liam so completely that you sometimes have the impression of watching a documentary, and his air of innocence and determination -- of being a child growing up fast and wrong before your eyes -- gives the film's climactic scene an almost unbearable power."
– A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“Loach at the top of his game. A tightly drawn and beautifully played picture of life on the margins… full of anger, frustration and heart.”
- The Independent

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