Cert 15 100mins Stars 3
Two great actors go head to head, as Traveller’s tradition sets father against son for the soul of the next generation.
This English drama has a strong celtic flavour as actor Brendan Gleeson plays the head of a small band of travelling folk.
Michael Fassbender is his illiterate son who wants an education and a better life for his own young family.
His wife, Kelly, wants away from the chaos, control and criminality of camp life. Lyndsey Marshal is more than a match for her better known acting colleagues.
Tying the film to England’s theatrical heritage are the the presence of a painted fool, the rural Gloucester setting, use of traveller dialect, and grand themes of family, inheritance, loyalty and betrayal.
Action scenes stray unintentionally into caper territory, and sit uneasily alongside the social realism and echoes of Shakespearean tragedy.
A sudden leap of optimism at the end is at odds with the carefully crafted sense of impending doom.