HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
Harakiri
Way to the Stars, The
   
 
Newest Articles
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
   
 
  Perfect 10 Beyond The Mat
Year: 2019
Director: Eva Riley
Stars: Frankie Box, Alfie Deegan, Sharlene Whyte, William Ash, Billy Mogford, Nicola Wright, Emily Gibson, Leia Dessaux, Jenna Goodwin, Mitchell Murphy, Annie Grainger, Lexa Willis-Gray, Georgia Simpson
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Leigh (Frankie Box) is a fourteen-year-old whose drifting life is only really anchored by her love of gymnastics, which she takes classes in with the hopes she can compete on a professional level. But even though she has an understanding tutor, Gemma (Sharlene Whyte), who knows that Leigh is struggling somewhat thanks to bullying and a father who neglects her now her mother has passed away, she is not as accomplished as she can be, probably because of those things. So when she returns home one day, and is practicing when a stranger enters the house, she is alarmed to discover he is Joe (Alfie Deegan), the older half-brother she never knew she had, which puts her heavily on the defensive.

But is the new presence of Joe a good thing or a bad thing? Perfect 10 was the first feature from Scottish director Eva Riley, graduating from acclaimed short films to a picture that was fairly brief in its running time, under an hour and a half, but its brevity gave it more focus and prevented it from wallowing in what could have been some very overused clich├ęs of British working class cinema. You know the type of thing, the dabbling in crime, getting wasted, getting into fights, they were all over the social realism genre and not exclusive to Britain's cinema, and there are some who would feel we had seen enough of this side of life.

But Riley had the advantage of bringing a genuine energy and empathy to her characters: we were not simply watching passively and tutting at the bad behaviour they got involved with. Half of that was Riley's direction and writing - some made valid comparisons with Andrea Arnold's work - but the other half was the canny casting of Box in the lead. This poor soul ended up with a serious medical condition that necessitated an operation she had to crowdfund to put right, since the NHS were unable to pay for it for her, a state of affairs that could have jeopardised both her movie and her gymnastics career; happily she recovered, but if you liked a little human interest backstory to your films, then there was a tale that added publicity to what was already an impressive performance as it stood.

She didn't get to do a huge amount of gymnastics in the bulk of the plot, but what she did enhanced it since we could recognise Leigh had talent that needed to be nurtured, and more pressingly, she could lose all her opportunities if she follows a life of crime. Therefore what could have been an unsympathetic tearaway becomes very quickly someone we want to see succeed, but as is the way with this kind of drama, she has to stumble before she can pick herself up and continue on a more promising direction. Joe is both part of the reason Leigh starts to be led astray, and also why she begins to see a bigger picture as far as her life is going, for he is involved with low level vehicle crime that, eager to please in her misguided way, she offers to help with.

We are constantly aware that this could all turn out very badly for her, and the film adopted a parental concern for Leigh that her actual parents could not provide, an intriguing position that generated concern in us as well. Riley was lucky with the weather, so captured some pleasing pastoral shots when the pair of half-siblings venture out of the town, and if there were the occasional exchanges that fell a little flat, you were sufficiently invested in the girl's dilemma not to mind, for she is obviously painfully lonely and we are kept uncertain whether she is going about the right method of alleviating that problem. It could have been hackneyed, but the style, even compassion, delivered quality that despite from some angles resembling a remake of Ken Loach's classic of the form Kes with gymnastics instead of a kestrel as the motivating factor for the youngster's enthusiasm, was enough of its own thing to make it well worth your while, especially if you liked gritty, slice of life stories. Music by Terence Dunn.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 485 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: