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

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

Advertisement
The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

The Colony [Colonia] Movie Review

Based on a true story, this Chilean drama has a chilling edge to it that's...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

Elvis & Nixon Movie Review

This movie is based on a real meeting between Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon in...

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.