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- Genres: Drama / Thriller /
- Year: 2006
- Country: Denmark UK
- Cast: Kate Dickie: Jackie, Tony Curran: Clyde, Martin Compston: Stevie, Natalie Press: April, Paul Higgins: Avery, Andrew Armour: Alfred, Carolyn Calder: Cleaner, John Comerford: Man With Dog, Jessica Angus: Brownyn, Martin McCardie: Angus, Martin O'Neill: Frank, Cora Bisset: Jo, Charles Brown: Broomfield Barman, Annie Bain: Aunt Kath, Frances Kelly: Woman in Denim Skirt, John McDonald: Broomfield Barman, William Cassidy: Stevie's Dad, Sarah Haworth: Police Woman, Elizabeth Allan: Kind Lady on Bus, Anne Kidd: Brenda,
- Storyline: Jackie works as a CCTV operator. Each day she watches over a small part of the world, protecting the people living their lives under her gaze. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she would never see again, a man she never wanted to see again. Now she has no choice, she is compelled to confront him.
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Gradually, piece by piece, the whys behind the story fall into place, and we are ultimately lead to some very emotional territory.
When Jackie crashes a party in Clyde's flat and the two engage in torrid sex, the result is both a longing for justice and an opportunity for healing that helps us expand our capacity for forgiveness. The idea is so clever and the film/story could have gone in any direction, all of which would have been interesting. If Mike Leigh made a Hitchcock film, it might be something like this. (An amazing version of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' over the end credits gave me shivers). Much of the time is spent watching Jackie brood and emote, and move through these rough-edged city scenes. So that made up my mind.The film involves you, and makes you feel closer and closer to the protagonist. We do not learn much about Jackie except that she lives alone and relies on a philandering lover for periodic sexual encounters that leave her unsatisfied. Is this man really some kind of psychopathic monster? Is this woman really so damaged and if so, in what way? Arnold finally resolves these issues in a moving, understated and realistic fashion where a more obvious 'thriller' would have taken a more melodramatic route.In reaching this resolution Arnold is, of course, excellently helped by her own honest. I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. They have a life of their own instead of being altered to fit a storyline.
Performances are very subtle, yet brimming with emotion, so much so that some scenes are really quite uncomfortable to watch. The doling out of snippets of information about the past was particularly good and the protagonist has nerves of steel. Throw in the brilliant cinematography of Robbie Ryan and you have one of the best British film of the last few years. She's a dour Scots lass who gives little away, and we build up a picture of her life very efficiently in the first few varied and colourful short scenes - her working life, her social life, her sex life and (at the edge of it) her family life.She starts to follow an ex-con who she recognises on the cameras, eventually ingratiating herself into his life. I rate this film with the best of British such as "Ladybird, Ladybird" and "My name is Joe." The acting is so outstanding that it looks like a documentary. More important, there is a grip on the whole, the balance and flow of the narrative, the feeling in the editing and small details included that add up. And yet, as much as it's real, and realistic, it has an artful (not artsy) pace to it that imbues the whole feeling with something larger, something universal. What is her interest in this man? What in their pasts connects them? Was she raped and is she now out for revenge? As the film progresses we get to know the protagonists. If you dislike independent film-making or are averse to explicit sex, avoid Red Road; otherwise make a bee-line to see one of the most original and capable films to come out of Scotland.Delving into the world of CCTV also opens up other questions. There is very little substantive action for a long time and little of the obvious attention grabbers such as violence or heavy romance.
The creative genius behind the idea, as with Dogme, is Lars von Trier. Too, the faces of the actors are relatively unfamiliar which adds to the mystery, since they carry no "baggage" from previous films to the characters.There doesn't seem to be a distributor connected to this film yet, and we'd really lose out if it doesn't get to the U.S. She follows him to his apartment in the seedy Red Road tower where he shares a room with the volatile Stevie (Martin Compston) and his girlfriend April (Natalie Press). Add another review. The slowly unravelling character and background of a CCTV operator form the plot of this gripping and unsettling, low-budget, yet very professionally made film. There are aspects here of brilliance, like the many surveillance camera scenes, and yet even these are not flashy, and with no hype they, like the film, dig into your brain. She enters forbidden spaces, sees danger, and then calmly keeps penetrating.You sense why, early on, but don't quite know. The final denouement brings a surprise emotional enlightenment. This film is so full of emotion that i just hope that people around the world don't come to think that Glasgow could be the most dreich place in the world.Magnificent. The film is reminiscent of the gritty, realistic works of Ken Loach and the Dardenne Brothers, directors who balance a tough, uncompromising narrative with humor and poetic sensitivity.
The film doesn't argue for or against - it seems realistic - but in portraying 'a face that watches the footage' it allows us to picture what it is maybe like on the other side of the camera when we form our ideas about the social dilemmas.Although Red Road has been roundly praised, it is not immediately clear why it is so successful. Although it seems to be directed on a very tight leash, part of the credit no doubt should also go to Lone Scherfig (characterisation is done in part by Scherfig as collaborator), and with whose background there is a discernible connection.Danish Director Scherfig rose to fame with Italian for Beginners, one of the successful films to be made under the strict discipline of the austere Dogme95 rules. Next to that, unforgettable, two-dimensional characterizations unfold just as brilliantly by simply showing and symbolizing (instead of overly telling) the action. Whilst referencing such films as "Rear Window", "Blow-Up" and "Hidden", debut director Andrea Arnold's "Red Road" is still a remarkable original and if the ending is perhaps more conventional than the build-up would have us believe it still packs quite an emotional punch. Set in an unflattering Glasgow of drunks, criminals and high-rise tenements it's the story of Jackie, (Kate Dickie, superb), whose job it is to sit alone in a room of TV screens watching the footage, as it happens, from dozens of CCTV cameras, (Big Brother really is watching us). Mesmerizing account of security surveillance camera operator in Glasgow who one day, on one of her work monitors, spots a person who stirs up her personal past in unpredictably painful ways... It makes it all matter even to us, far from the screen.English director Andrea Arnold is little known even though she won an Oscar for a short a few years earlier, but she has a few other films that I suddenly need to see. This is film-making that is both masterful, sexually brave and movingly tragic as well as hopeful, with achingly good performances. Direction is also brilliant and the low budget restrictions really do not show. It reminded me of "Exotica", another film I loved.
In some instances, the emptiness of the character's lives translates into a general mood of ennui and leads to viewer distancing. I don't see that "that" sex scene is so crude, I think it is very naturalistic. \n \n Industry information at your fingertipsOver 200,000 Hollywood insidersEnhance your IMDb PageGo to IMDbPro »Own the rights? An intimate and moving portrayal of characters both devastated and desperate. It's one of those films where, if you want to feel the full impact of the surprises, the less you know about the story the better. It isn't until the end of the film that her motives are finally revealed.Arnold's film works on several levels, not least as a gripping psychological thriller. I find that friends in Britain haven't heard of this film yet and Cinema Arts in Huntongton NY has done us all a favour by booking it so soon. What took me to see it was the fact that it was shot in Glasgow. Such is not the case, however, with Scottish director Andrea Arnold's Red Road, a taut and involving suspense thriller that maintains its tension, volatility, and enigmatic quality to the very end. The focus is on a troubled and reclusive woman, Jackie (Kate Dickie), who works as a security guard in a seedy area of Glasgow, following movements of people in the streets on closed-circuit TV monitors and reporting them to the police if she suspects wrongdoing.Her surveillance monitor offers a graphic picture of the economic conditions of the area.
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