When its focus shifts from two working-class boyhood pals to the precarious friendship one of them shares with a borderline psychotic stalking his sister, "A Room for Romeo Brass" detours from slice-of-childhood English comedy into something darker and much less entertaining.
A semi-autobiographical tale directed by Shane Meadows ("TwentyFourSeven") and co-written with Brian Fraser, his best friend for 20 years, the picture is ostensibly about a rocky patch in the relationship between a pair of once-inseparable neighbor boys.
In the beginning it plays like a life-affirming dramedy in which 12-year-old pranksters Romeo and Gavin (very natural newcomers Andrew Shim and Ben Marshall) escape their various woes and dysfunctional families through their mischievous friendship.
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There's already an Oscars buzz surrounding this movie.