×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Some Voices

A pleasant but ultimately unsatisfying dramedy of two brothers trying to start over in their relationship, "Some Voices" runs out of gas in the final stretch after a promising first half. Good performances from a small cast led by Daniel Craig and Kelly Macdonald are let down by shapeless direction from former TV helmer Simon Cellan Jones and a script whose lack of depth becomes progressively more noticeable. Pic's largest con-stituency will be on the tube rather than the bigscreen.

With:
Ray - Daniel Craig Pete - David Morrissey Laura - Kelly Macdonald Mandy - Julie Graham Dave - Peter McDonald

A pleasant but ultimately unsatisfying dramedy of two brothers trying to start over in their relationship, “Some Voices” runs out of gas in the final stretch after a promising first half. Good performances from a small cast led by Daniel Craig and Kelly Macdonald are let down by shapeless direction from former TV helmer Simon Cellan Jones and a script whose lack of depth becomes progressively more noticeable. Pic’s largest con-stituency will be on the tube rather than the bigscreen.

Opening reels have an easygoing flavor as Ray (Craig) is collected from a psychiatric hospital and taken back to west London by his brother, Pete (David Morrissey), who runs a small restaurant. Pete makes sure Ray keeps taking his medication and warns him against any excessive drinking.

In the street one day, Ray accidentally meets Laura (Macdonald), a feisty Glaswegian lass who’s in the process of booting out her boyfriend, Dave (Peter McDonald). In some of the movie’s best scenes, Ray slowly wheedles Laura out of her brittle shell and takes her on a trip to the south coast, where they fumblingly get it on.

Macdonald’s pert naturalness and Craig’s craggy charm make for some fine screen chemistry, even when not a lot is happening in the script. The deficiencies start to show when the movie returns to London and tries to develop its various strands, which include Ray’s growing mental instability when he kicks his medication, Pete’s vague attempts to build a relationship with his waitress, Mandy (Julie Graham), and deep-seated tensions between the two brothers. Added to all that, Laura is pregnant by her ex-b.f.

Joe Penhall’s script, based on his 1994 Royal Court play starring Ray Winstone, is a decidedly thin construct that requires the audience to fill in a lot of the gaps. Ray’s illness (presumably schizophrenia) is never specified, and, until he is required to act weird for dramatic reasons, he spends most of the movie as a fairly ordinary layabout.

Despite vague references to earlier family troubles, the two brothers are hardly backgrounded at all, robbing their final confrontation of significant drama or intensity.

What’s left is a charming enough, working class romance between Ray and Laura that’s held afloat by the thesps’ presence, punctuated by scenes of the hard-working Pete’s frustration at his brother’s inability to assume any responsibility. Side plot of Pete and Mandy hardly gets off the ground.

In contrast to the stylized source material, helmer Cellan Jones and d.p. David Odd go for a naturalistic, handheld look using natural lighting; this would be OK with more substantial material but brings nothing to the movie on its own. Occasional use of buoyant songs on the soundtrack, including the Francoise Hardy classic “La maison ou j’ai grandi,” is diverting at the time.

Popular on Variety

Some Voices

U.K.

Production: A FilmFour presentation, with participation of British Screen, of a Dragon Pictures production. (International sales: FilmFour Intl., London.) Produced by Damian Jones, Graham Broadbent. Co-producer, Fiona Morham. Directed by Simon Cellan Jones. Screenplay, Joe Penhall, based on his play.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe London prints), David Odd; editor, Elen Pierce Lewis; music, Adrian Johnston; music supervisor, Liz Gallacher; production designer, Zoe MacLeod; art director, Jean Kerr; costume designer, James Keast; sound (Dolby Digital), Richard Flynn; assistant director, Robert Fabbri; casting, Gail Stevens. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors Fortnight), May 15, 2000. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Ray - Daniel Craig Pete - David Morrissey Laura - Kelly Macdonald Mandy - Julie Graham Dave - Peter McDonald

More Film

  • Bruce Springsteen arrives for the New

    Bruce Springsteen Returns to NJ Hometown for Surprise 'Western Stars' Introduction

    Bruce Springsteen returned to his hometown of Freehold, New Jersey to offer a surprise introduction to the first public multiplex viewing of his concert/documentary film, “Western Stars.” Dressed simply in a brown jacket, Springsteen took a moment to say a few words at the AMC Freehold 14 movie theater on Saturday night. “We knew we [...]

  • Backstage in Puglia del film SPACCAPIETRE:

    'Gomorrah' Star Salvatore Esposito Set For De Serio Twins' 'The Stonebreaker'

    Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.” The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent in Disney’s

    Box Office: 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' Tops 'Joker,' 'Zombieland'

    “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” is on track to give Disney another first place finish after scoring $12.5 million in Friday’s domestic ticket sales. If estimates hold, the Angelina Jolie-led film should finish the weekend with about $38 million — well below earlier forecasts but enough to top holdover “Joker” and fellow newcomer “Zombieland: Double Tap.” [...]

  • Maelle Arnaud

    Lumière Chief Programmer Maelle Arnaud: 'Film History Doesn't Have Parity'

    LYON, France   — As the Lumière Institute’s head programmer since 2001, Maelle Arnaud helped launched the Lumière Festival in 2009 and has watched it grow in international esteem over the decade that followed. This year, the festival ran 190 films across 424 screenings in theaters all over town. The festival will come to a [...]

  • Girl with Green Eyes

    Talking Pictures TV: Bringing the Past Back to Life in the U.K.

    LYON, France – Since its launch in 2015, Talking Pictures TV has become the fastest-growing independent channel in the U.K. with a growing library of British film and TV titles that span five decades, according to founder Noel Cronin. Noel Cronin attended the Lumière Festival’s International Classic Film Market (MIFC) in Lyon, France, where he [...]

  • Wings of Desire

    German Heritage Sector Applauds Increased Digitization, Preservation Funding

    LYON, France  — Germany’s film heritage sector is celebrating a new federal and state-funded initiative launching in January that will provide €10 million ($11.15 million) a year towards the digitization and preservation of feature films. Rainer Rother, the artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek, outlined the plan at a panel discussion at the Lumière Festival’s [...]

  • 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    Film Review: 'QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight'

    In one of the intermittent revealing moments in “QT8: Quentin Tarantino, The First Eight,” a documentary about the films of Quentin Tarantino that’s like a familiar but tasty sundae for Quentin fans, we see Tarantino on the set of “Pulp Fiction,” shooting the iconic dance contest at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. As John Travolta and Uma [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content