×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Loved Up

The underemployed art of the short feature is neatly realized in "Loved Up," a contempo British youth romance that doesn't overstretch its fragile limits. Captivatingly played by rising thesps Ian Hart and Lena Headey, pic demands festival exposure despite being destined for pubcaster BBC's Screen Two slot. Audience response at its Edinburgh preem was loud and enthusiastic.

With:
Sarah ... Lena Headey Tom ... Ian Hart Mother ... Linda Bassett Karen ... Milly Gregory Dez ... Jason Isaacs Cocker ... Rick Warden

The underemployed art of the short feature is neatly realized in “Loved Up,” a contempo British youth romance that doesn’t overstretch its fragile limits. Captivatingly played by rising thesps Ian Hart and Lena Headey, pic demands festival exposure despite being destined for pubcaster BBC’s Screen Two slot. Audience response at its Edinburgh preem was loud and enthusiastic.

Lena Headey plays Sarah, 18, a waitress at a diner who feels burdened by her alcoholic mother (Linda Bassett) and is ready for some excitement in her life. Latter arrives in the form of Tom (Hart, from “Land and Freedom” and “Backbeat”) , an easygoing 21-year-old who intros her to drugs and marathon sex in the space of a single night. Next day, she moves in with him.

Awed by Tom’s partying scene, and fired from her job, Sarah starts running drugs for Tom’s hard-nosed supplier, Dez (Jason Isaacs), who also has his eye on her charms. Strains start to appear in the couple’s relationship when Tom makes it clear he feels no responsibilities toward her, and Sarah is forced to choose between family and friends when her mom attempts suicide.

Though the recipe is here for a grungy drama of wasted youth, the film plays surprisingly easily, thanks to upbeat playing by the leads, well-drawn supports and young director Peter Cattaneo’s consistently light handling of Ol Parker’s compact script. Emotional focus stays tightly on the duo’s love story and, despite the vast quantities of pills popped, the pic never gets sidetracked into preaching about drugs.

The photogenic Headey makes a major impression here in the difficult role of the basically wise but love-struck teen, and the more experienced Hart gives her just the right amount of space in which to move. Other characters, from Isaacs’ sympathetic but tough pusher to Milly Gregory as Headey’s younger sis, meld easily.

Ivan Strasburg’s generally bright photography and David Gamble’s smooth editing are further pluses. Though the pic packs no great emotional wallop, it never pretends to, either.

Loved Up

(BRITISH)

Production: A BBC Television production for Screen Two. Produced by Elinor Day. Executive producer, David M. Thompson. Directed by Peter Cattaneo. Screenplay, Ol Parker.

Crew: Camera (color, 16mm), Ivan Strasburg; editor, David Gamble; production design, Kave Quinn; art direction, Tracy Gallagher; costume design, Jill Taylor; sound, John Taylor, Craig Irving; associate producers, Andy Rowley, Eamon Fitzpatrick; assistant director, Pip Short. Reviewed at Edinburgh Film Festival, Aug. 21, 1995. Running time: 70 MIN.

With: Sarah ... Lena Headey Tom ... Ian Hart Mother ... Linda Bassett Karen ... Milly Gregory Dez ... Jason Isaacs Cocker ... Rick Warden

More Film

  • Brightburn review

    Film Review: 'Brightburn'

    “Superman” meets “The Omen” in “Brightburn,” a watchable but super-silly mix of superheroics and evil-child horror that mashes together singularly uninspired ideas from both. Offering R-rated fantasy competition to “Aladdin” this Memorial Day weekend, it should do OK with undiscriminating audiences seeking familiar, forgettable genre thrills. But the franchise prayers that an open-ended fadeout dangles [...]

  • Aladdin

    Film Review: Will Smith in 'Aladdin'

    Of all the characters in Walt Disney Studios’ canon, is there any more animated than the Genie from “Aladdin”? In 1992, old-school cartooning seemed the only way to keep up with comedian Robin Williams’ rapid-fire sense of humor and free-associative gift for improvisation. Much of the appeal of the original “Aladdin” came thanks to the [...]

  • Cannes: European Auteurs Launch Appeal to

    Cannes: European Auteurs Launch Appeal to Get E.U. Elections Vote Out

    A group of 500 prominent European auteurs – including heavyweights attending Cannes such as Céline Sciamma, Pawel Pawlikowski, and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne – have launched an impassioned appeal to citizens of the 28 European Union nations to get out the vote at the upcoming May 23-26 E.U. parliamentary elections. “It is true, Europe is hardly [...]

  • Photograph by Svetlana Cvetko

    Blitz Films' Eryl Cochran Talks About Indie Film in Challenging Market

    Eryl Cochran heads production & development at production and financing shingle Blitz Films, where she works alongside company founders, filmmakers Nikolay and Sergey Sarkisov. Blitz, launched in 2018, is carving out a niche in the indie world with an eye for emerging talent. Blitz’s slate includes “Show Me What You Got,” directed by cinematographer Svetlana [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content