Better Things

  • 15
  • Duane Hopkins (2007)
  • UK / Ger
  • 89 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Writer/director Duane Hopkins's first feature is a compelling and highly credible insight into the deterioration of life in rural Britain. Making evocative use of his Cotswold locations, he creates a multi-stranded narrative that powerfully captures the genuine sense of isolation and torpor felt by the community, from young heroin addicts to a dying grandmother. This is only undermined by a failure to connect the juvenile and geriatric characters, and the guilt, envy, fear and despair they share. But for all the desolation of the landscape and the oppressiveness of the silences, there are moments of optimism here, as pulp romance-reading Rachel McIntyre conquers her agoraphobia, ailing Frank Bench confronts his wife over a long-held resentment, and Che Corr emerges from the shadow of self-destructive slacker Liam McIlfatrick to seize his best chance of a worthwhile future. Hopkins uses a predominantly non-professional cast and their performances match the sullen naturalism of Lol Crawley's cinematography and Douglas MacDougall's disconcerting sound design, making this an impressive debut.

Plot Summary

Social drama. Duane Hopkins' debut feature uses non-actors to tell the stories of a series of young people in a rural Cotswolds community, who escape from the reality of their isolated existence by taking hard drugs.

Cast and crew

Cast

Rob
Liam McIlfatrick
David
Che Corr
Sarah
Tara Ballard
Rachel
Megan Palmer
Larry
Kurt Taylor
Gail Wilson
Rachel McIntyre
Nan Wilson
Patricia Loveland
Mr Gladwin
Frank Bench
Jon
Freddie Cunliffe
Mike
Michael Socha

Crew

Director
Duane Hopkins

Other Information

Language: 
English
Colour
Theatrical distributor: 
Soda Pictures
Guidance: 
Swearing and drug abuse.
Available on DVD
Released 23 Jan 2009
Certificate 15
Categories
Drama