For those who praised both the directing and writing of A Boy Called Dad might like to know that Brian Percival (who directed the multi-award winning ITV drama 'Downton Abbey') won a BAFTA along with screenwriter Julie Rutherford. That was a short, About A Girl, in 2001.
This re-teaming in 2009, a small £1million budget and a welcome star name of Ian Hart have produced a modest little gem of a Brit movie, filmed in Liverpool and north Wales. A Boy Called Dad stars 14 y.o. Kyle Ward, a natural and fine performance (though according to IMDB, hasn't been in anything since) from a lad who has a one night stand - and then fatherhood. The mother of the child has little contact with Robbie (Ward) and lives separately.
Enter jack-the-lad Robbie's Dad, a cheeky scouser with a VW pickup. He left Robbie and his mother some years before and says that he had moved to Ireland, when he had in fact, not. Robbie, after some reacquainting and bonding with his Dad, feels rejected and goes off the rails, kidnaps his own son and makes off in a car.
The film does have its moments of action, bursts of anger and a lot of quiet moments of contemplation and emotion. It won't suit everyone, though its very humanity should appeal to us all. It's whether we choose to actually sit down and watch it rather than something more gimmicky and instantly gratifying. It's not a great movie, but a good one.
I watched it on BBC2, when it was shown in the small hours.