is a humorous but poignant drama from Film Four starring Chris Beattie and Greg McLane as two Newcastle teenagers who embark on a series of money-raising schemes in a desperate attempt to raise the necessary funds to buy Newcastle United season tickets. The whole story positively crunches with Northern grit and the ghost of Ken Loach clomps away in the background throughout the film, but acclaimed writer/director Mark Herman (Brassed Off
, Little Voice
) sets a fine balance between character and situation which is strong enough to carry the story despite its reliance on stereotypes. The humour ranges from the superbly under-stated (the fire-eating scene is a classic) to the rather nasty (the occasion which sees the two main protagonists demanding money from a woman for "looking after" her car is about as funny as a rape scene), but it all ends in a more upbeat fashion than Jonathan Tulloch's novel The Season Ticket
on which the film is based. --Roger Thomas
Netherlands released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Commentary, Featurette, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Music Video, Scene Access, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Two boys from troubled homes find that their love for British football gives them a focus in life -- and gets them into deep trouble in this realistic comedy drama. Sewell (Greg McLane) and Gerry (Chris Beattie) are two close friends growing up in an economically-depressed neighborhood in Newcastle-on-Tyne. Sewell has been living with his grandfather (Roy Hudd) since his parents abandoned him years ago, while Gerry, his mother (Charlie Hardwick), and his sister Clare (Tracy Whitwell) drift from flat to flat trying to avoid Gerry's dad (Tim Healy), an abusive thief and alcoholic. Sewell and Gerry aren't much on school, but they do have a dream -- they're loyal supporters of the Newcastle United football team, and they would love more than anything to have season tickets to see them play. However, the passes would cost 1,000 pounds, which is hardly within the boy's means; while they pledge to give up cigarettes to help save the money, they know that alone won't pay the tab. Gerry and Sewell try a number of schemes to make some extra money, from selling old things from around the house to shoplifting, but when they move on to the big leagues -- car theft and bank robbery -- things take an unexpected turn. Purely Belter was screened as part of the 'Director's Fortnight' series at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival.
SCREENED/AWARDED AT: British Independent Film Awards, Cannes Film Festival, Fantasporto Awards, ...Purely Belter