Shell 2012

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(21) IMDb 6.4/10
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Scott Graham's directorial debut examines the intense relationship between a father and daughter living a secluded life in the Highlands of Scotland. Ever since her mother walked out on the family when she was a young girl, 17-year-old Shell has lived with her epileptic, emotionally-damaged father, Pete, helping to run their remote petrol station-cum-breakdown yard in an area of the Highlands known as the 'Great Wilderness'. A bright girl, but with underlying issues, Shell's refusal to acknowledge the advances of locals Hugh and Adam in favour of her dad's company, signals potential problems ahead. Her horizons are unexpectedly widened, however, when a chance meeting with an Edinburgh couple results in her receiving a copy of Carson McCullers' novel 'The Heart is a Lonely Hunter', an exploration of alienation and loneliness in 1930s America.

Starring:
Morven Christie, Brian McCardie
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 31 minutes
Starring Morven Christie, Brian McCardie, Joseph Mawle, Michael Smiley, Iain De Caestecker, Cameron Mcquade, Milla Gibson, Paul Thomas Hickey, Tam Dean Burn, Kate Dickie, Chloe Pirrie
Director Scott Graham
Genres Drama
Studio FUSION MEDIA SALES
Rental release 8 July 2013
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 31 minutes
Starring Morven Christie, Brian McCardie, Joseph Mawle, Michael Smiley, Iain De Caestecker, Cameron Mcquade, Milla Gibson, Paul Thomas Hickey, Tam Dean Burn, Kate Dickie, Chloe Pirrie
Director Scott Graham
Genres Drama
Studio FUSION MEDIA SALES
Rental release 8 July 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Tav on 5 July 2013
Format: DVD
Graham Scott's debut full length film is a beautiful, haunting study of relationships and loneliness. The acting is mesmerising, the use absence of music and use of natural sounds creates tension. I've often found myself travelling the remote roads in Wester Ross where this film is set wondering about the life's of those living in such solitude and it was no surprise to learn that this was the same experience Scott Graham had that led him to create this script. I was left with strong feelings long after watching this film, not all positive but certainly deep and real. Graham uses natural sounds, absence of script, nature and wonderful acting in a manner that Terrence Mallick strives for but all too often doesn't achieve. This film will not be everyone's taste and many will find it slow, ponderous and depressing. I found it a deep emotional experience with images that have remained with me long after watching it. I look forward to the next film from Scott Graham and the next performance from Chloe Pirrie.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sindri on 8 Aug 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Scottish screenwriter and director Scott Graham`s feature film debut which he wrote, premiered in the New Directors section at the 60th San Sebastián International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on location in Scotland and is a UK production which was produced by producers David Smith and Margaret Matheson. It tells the story about a 17-year-old woman named Shell who lives with her father named Pete at a gas station in the Scottish countryside which he made years ago. Shell spends most of her days waiting for new customers and most of the time meets people who are just passing by. She has become friendly with a middle-aged man named Hugh who usually makes a stop at their place when he is on his way to see his children who lives with their mother and is sometimes visited by a man close to her age named Adam who works at a sawmill nearby and who seeks her company, but Shell`s only constant is her father whom she has grown as attached to as any daughter could to her father.

Distinctly and acutely directed by Scottish filmmaker Scott Graham, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated mostly from the main character`s point of view, draws a silently reflective and consistently moving portrayal of a strangely though understandably affectionate relationship between a man whom is suffering both from illness and personal experiences and his daughter whose only communication with the outside world, which is an enigma to her, is through brief encounters with various passers-by.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keith M TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 6 Aug 2014
Format: DVD
This 2012 debut feature from Scottish film-maker Scott Graham attempts to make a 'cinematic spectacle’ of solitude and loneliness – never an easy challenge to meet, of course, but Graham does a remarkable job here in what is a slow-moving, subtle and atmospheric watch. Chloe Pirrie’s titular 17-year old and her father (and epileptic), Joseph Mawle’s Pete, inhabit an isolated petrol station/'breakers yard’ in the windswept, desolate highlands of Scotland – theirs is a life of chance (and sporadic) encounters with 'regular locals’ and passing tourists, where 'excitement’ is generated by road accidents and local thefts, all to the backdrop of an incessant, howling wind and the periodic bone-shaking passing of an articulated lorry.

As you might have guessed, Graham’s film is not exactly 'a thrill a minute’, but where (for me at least) it scores particularly well is in its claustrophobic (surprising perhaps given the vast expanses of the film’s backdrop) study of this 'community’s’ pent-up frustrations. Pirrie is outstanding here as the ‘repressed’ and dutiful adolescent ('I can’t just leave whenever I like’), the 'object of desire’ for Michael Smiley’s (in another fine performance) passing 'divorcee’, Hugh, and 'local lad’, Iain De Caestecker’s Adam, and whose relationship to Pete Graham reveals to us subtly as the pair are mistaken initially for a married couple by passing tourists, Robert and Clare (Paul Hickey and Kate Dickie), whose car has hit a stray deer (Graham adds a nice touch here as Clare gives as a gift to Shell Carson McCullers’ novel The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ben Smith [SHELF HEROES] on 16 Aug 2013
Format: DVD
Compelling realist drama set in an isolated petrol station in the Scottish Highlands. 17-year-old Shell (Chloe Pirrie) lives alone with her father (Joseph Mawle) at their garage, with little to occupy her other than caring for her sickly father, and serving the infrequent local customers. Despite a few amicable friendships with the locals she is virtually isolated from the outside, a young woman yet to find her place in the world and seemingly locked in a loving, but curious relationship with her father.

`Shell' is a small quiet film that is almost entirely constructed of tiny mannerisms and idle small talk, eschewing any hint of melodrama and instead summoning its power from its humanity and atmosphere. Both Shell and her father are clearly troubled, their faces plainly wrought with disquiet - the air is thick with the unspoken, and an unnerving melancholy runs through their lives and relationship. As a result this is an absolutely captivating, haunting watch laced with unpredictability. This simplicity is `Shell's real strength. Not a single word or second is wasted, every glance or movement carrying so much weight and intrigue it's impossible not to be drawn into this curious Scottish fable.

The cinematography is exceptional, and captures a sombre barren beauty in the Highland landscape with long static shots disrupted by the perpetual wind. This is counteracted with tightly framed imagery of the characters, allowing facial expressions and movements to communicate far more than dialogue. The tiny cast all deliver flawless performances. Pirrie in the title role is particularly adept, bringing the conflicted young woman to life with subtleties that hold a murky internal depth.
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