Unconditional

"Excellent"

Unconditional Review


While the subject matter of this small British drama lends itself to controversy, it's handled with bracing honesty by filmmaker Higgins and his gifted young cast. As a result, we travel this unusual journey with the characters, experiencing something rather outrageous along with them. 

Set in Newcastle, it's the story of 16-year-old twins Kristen and Owen (Clark and McEntire), who take care of their disabled mum (Hill) and struggle to pay the bills. They cope with their situation by plotting elaborately witty escape scenarios, and then whey meet the charismatic young loan shark Liam (Cooke), both Kristen and Owen fall for him. 

While leading Kristen on, Liam actually latches on to Owen, but has one condition if they are together: Owen has to dress up as a girl and let Liam call him Kristen. Dazzled by Liam's charm, Owen goes along with it until he begins to suspect that Liam might not be very stable. Cooke is superb as the likeably cool Liam, subtly oozing a slippery, predatory sexuality that Owen wouldn't be able to spot. Cooke also lets Liam's bravado slip now and then, revealing his inner fragility, which makes him startlingly sympathetic. Not only are both twins drawn to him, but we are too. And both Clark and McEntire deliver transparent performances that get under the skin. 

McEntire proves that he's a talent to watch by diving into the role without hesitation, then letting us see Owen's intelligence fighting with his lust and fear. Along the way, there are a series of scenes that add to the growing tension, including a visit to Liam's seemingly oblivious parents and a climactic seaside trip to a B&B honeymoon suite. Writer-director Higgins keeps us on edge by continually twisting scenes in directions we don't expect. 

As the characters grapple with power, sexuality, gender and desire, the film overlays the drama with a growing sense of horror as we worry that Owen won't be able to escape from Liam's control. And it's so intensely natural and internalised that the film leaves us shaken in the end. And also exhilarated. 

Rich Cline 



Unconditional

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Friday 21st September 2012

Budget: $2M

Production compaines: Harbinger Media Partners

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Bryn Higgins

Producer: Bryn Higgins

Starring: as Samantha Crawford, as Joe Bradford, as Detective Miller, as Macon, as Billy, Cedric Pendleton as Anthony, Emily Rollins as Young Sam, Danielle Lewis as Denise, Gabriella Phillips as Keisha, Tarren Mason as Young Joe

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Goosebumps Movie Review

Goosebumps Movie Review

Mixing the action, comedy and horror from novelist R.L. Stein's books into a family-friendly package,...

Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Spotlight Movie Review

Spotlight Movie Review

This film demonstrates that you don't need guns to make an exciting thriller. Based on...

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Movie Review

Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

Dirty Grandpa Movie Review

There's nothing clever about this deliberately rude and vulgar comedy, but certain audiences will find...

The Big Short Movie Review

The Big Short Movie Review

Smart and snappy, this comedy is one of the scariest films of the year, using...

Advertisement
The 5th Wave Movie Review

The 5th Wave Movie Review

Also based on the first in a trilogy of post-apocalyptic teen novels, this thriller feels...

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ride Along 2 Movie Review

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart reteam for a sequel no one really asked for, following...

Room Movie Review

Room Movie Review

One of the most extraordinary films of the year, this drama cleverly weaves in events...

Creed Movie Review

Creed Movie Review

While this film is basically Rocky VII, it's also much more than that, and perhaps...

A Perfect Day Movie Review

A Perfect Day Movie Review

An irreverent comedy in the style of the original M.A.S.H., this wartime romp takes an...

Partisan Movie Review

Partisan Movie Review

With his feature debut, young Australian filmmaker Ariel Kleiman tells a creepy story about a...

The Revenant Movie Review

The Revenant Movie Review

A wrenching saga of survival and revenge, Alejandro G. Inarritu's new epic is just as...

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

The Hateful Eight Movie Review

Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who simply can't be ignored, especially when he lobs a...

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.