The Unloved

"Excellent"

The Unloved Review


Actress-turned-filmmaker Morton shows a remarkable confidence as director of this intensely personal drama, which is loosely based on her own experiences.

And even though the story wobbles along the way, it's a vital, involving film.

Lucy (Windsor) is an 11-year-old living with her father (Carlyle) in Nottingham. But when a schoolteacher discovers that she has been violently beaten, she's placed in a care home, sharing a room with 16-year-old tearaway Lauren (Socha). Lauren takes Lucy on several rather illicit outings, constantly landing the pair in trouble. And when Lucy wonders why she can't live with her mother (Lynch), her social worker (Stacey) only says that it's not possible.

Surely someone somewhere must want her.

Morton's directing approach is intensely visual, using angles, colour and light to throw us into the situation from Lucy's vulnerable perspective. For example, in the opening scene when her father stands up in anger, he appears to unfold into a huge, menacing giant. And this cleverly inventive approach continues throughout the film, as we follow Lucy into an Alice-like adventure through a particularly terrifying version of Wonderland.

At the centre, Windsor is simply transparent. It's such an offhanded, natural performance that we can't help but identify with her. Through her eyes, mundane things through become glimmers of hope, and we vividly experience her prayerful longing even as we watch the emotion quietly draining from her face as the story progresses. It's a wrenching, heartbreaking performance that contrasts brilliantly with Socha's attitude-filled turn as Lauren, an equally fragile girl who copes with her situation through abrasive bravado.

Morton packs the film with tiny details, blasts of vivid humour and energy, and telling observations. Lucy's only solace is in memories of happier days with her mum and dad, and she seems to be so tiny that she's literally slipping through cracks in a system that should be taking care of her. It's this sense of urgency keeps the plot afloat through a murky third act that seems to drift aimlessly and almost become unstuck in time. Surely this is intentional; the film is far too sharply well-made for it to be an accident. But it does weaken what should be a devastating final punch.



The Unloved

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 17th May 2009

Distributed by: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Production compaines: EM Media

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 1

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Lucy's Father, as Lauren, Craig Parkinson as Ben, as Lucy's Mother, as Michael

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.