I've just seen Junkhearts at Chapter Arts centre in Cardiff.
I saw Junkhearts solely because I'm a big fan of Eddie Marsan and wanted to see him in a lead role, as I think he's a fantastic actor with a great range and a lightness of touch. As expected Eddie Marsan was fantastic, here playing an ex-solider, and brought a freshness to quite a now archetypal character. Familiar as this archetype is, the character is normally played out in a flat depressed state that flies off the handle at a moments notice. Instead the director Tinge Krishnan chooses to create a distance between the character of Frank and everybody else, in terms of the acting, the cropped framing, the use of negative space, and specific points of focus, which works really effectively.
Within Junkhearts we are also introduced to newcomer Candese Reid, who was found at Nottingham's Television Workshop - famous for Paddy Considine and the This Is England cast. Her character Lynette works her way under Frank's emotional barrier, fully realised in a spine-tingling scene where Frank cracks his first smile we've seen, bathed in gorgeous sun light.
The performances of Frank and Lynette felt truthful and authentic and I felt sympathetic to each character and that's a testament to the director. Furthermore, the execution of the script really engaged me throughout.
It was incredibly shot by Catherine Derry, I loved the self-defence/dance scene seeped in sunflare, the lovely bokeh in the bar scene with Shaun Dooley and Romola Garai, the bleak scenes in and around the tower block and lifts, the uncomfortable framing with Eddie when he's having flashbacks, the lovely slow-motion when he dances, and I loved the practical lighting, and the strip lighting inside the flat.
If you like the work of Lynne Ramsay, Andrea Arnold, Mike Leigh, and Shane Meadows, Junkhearts could be right up your street.
One to watch in 2012.