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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not many films manage to be both tender and sinister at the same time...
but this film does.

Red Road is the story of Jackie, played by the extraordinary Kate Dickie in a restrained and sensitive performance, which is all the more powerful for its understatement.

Jackie is a lonely CCTV operator, watching over the streets of Glasgow like a guardian angel, trying to stop people coming to harm. She comes to know some of...
Published on 15 May 2007 by Jaybird

versus
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slowly unfolding story.
Very slowly the reason for Jackie's stalking of of ex-con Clyde is revealed. These two characters are excellently portrayed: both have complex personalities and motivations. The long delay before one begins to realize what drives Jackie's obsession makes the first half or more of the film a bit difficult to understand, but the film-maker maintains a sense of tension and...
Published on 2 Jun. 2007 by Bluebell


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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not many films manage to be both tender and sinister at the same time..., 15 May 2007
By 
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
but this film does.

Red Road is the story of Jackie, played by the extraordinary Kate Dickie in a restrained and sensitive performance, which is all the more powerful for its understatement.

Jackie is a lonely CCTV operator, watching over the streets of Glasgow like a guardian angel, trying to stop people coming to harm. She comes to know some of her "regulars" by their habits, although they don't know her, or the affection that she feels for them.

Outside of work, her relations with real, flesh and blood people, appear less successful. She rarely goes out and is having an affair with a married man that is distant, cold and demonstrative only of how badly Jackie feels about herself.

One day Jackie sees someone from her past on camera, someone she cannot forget, so she starts to watch him.

This is a quiet film, keenly observed and deeply felt; an extremely rewarding watch.

Red Road is part of a collaborative series of films, organised by Lars von Trier, whereby each of the film makers involved agreed to be constrained by a set of rules, one of which was that all the films in the collaboration should share a cast and that therefore all the casting for all the films had to be done at the same time and collaboratively between the teams.

Despite this, none of the actors appear miscast, all of them give finely nuanced performances. The only way that the audience could possibly tell the method of casting is that there seems to be an intimacy between the cast that perhaps points to a longer term involvement than is often seen.

That intimacy is supported by the nature of the film, its themes of love and loss, pain and comfort.

Completely wonderful.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Road is a Scottish film, 8 May 2009
By 
MisterHobgoblin (Melbourne) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Red Road is a Scottish film. Revel in those words - they don't follow one another in that sequence very often. And even less often to describe a film of this quality.

Jackie sits in a bubble, surrounded by CCTV screens. She has a control panel and a joystick which she can use to move the cameras and zoom in. She has a telephone to call for help or advice; to summon police; to seek information which is instantly forthcoming. But this is a silent existence. Jackie watches people's lives, but never interacts with them. And Jackie's bubble is next to another bubble, which is in a corridor full of bubbles, each full of CCTV screens and the lone, godlike watcher. Half of Glasgow is under surveillance.

Jackie is a very cold, unemotional character. Occasionally she smiles, and each smile is as rare and beautiful as a pearl. Jackie seems to have no friends, a lover with whom she shares no love, and a family that is a nuisance rather than a comfort.

Then Jackie picks up Clyde on one of her cameras - the man clearly means something to her, but still she seems devoid of any real emotion. She is as warm, as animated as a corpse. Yet as the intrigue builds, Jackie starts to stalk Clyde. Piece by piece, the nature of the relationship is revealed. But not before many false conclusions have been reached. Red Road constantly surprises - not with shock moments or with shrieks - if anything, the constantly subdued sound and behaviour is the shock - but the surprises are the constant re-evaluations of the people. They never react as you might expect, they defy categorization.

This is a magnificent film. The drama and dialogue is understated. The camera angles show a rough side of Glasgow, but one which expresses so much. Never has it been so true that a picture can convey 1000 words. And the composure of the two lead actors is brilliant. They both have such presence, despite having so few lines.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing film, 2 July 2007
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
A very cleverly constructed film. As other reviewers have mentioned, it takes a while to get going. The director plays with our perceptions of what is happening and about 2/3 of the way through the whole tone of the film appears to change, when we realise that things might not be quite as simple as they appeared. Whilst trying not to spoil the plot, this means that the viewer might see events in the film in a new light. Some of the sex scenes are quite explicit. These can also be seen in a different context when all is revealed towards the end of the film.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful film about voyeurism, vigiliantism and moving on, 25 Mar. 2007
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
This is an exceptionally powerful movie. As other reviewers have pointed out, it does take a while to get going, but this adds to the intrigue and provides time for character development. The film is set against the bleak backdrop of Glasgow tenament blocks and these provide a fitting background to Jacqui, a CCTV operator's despair, emotional turmoil and loneliness. The clues to her motivation are revealed in a well-timed fashion, and the ending provides a credible closure. Its hard to say too much without ruining the story - suffice to say, the film deals with the problems of isolation, the search for justice whilst still managing to pick out moments of beauty that are inherent in even the most barren of urban landscapes. The lead actors are extremely strong and the end poignant (particularly the closing scene I thought). Stick with it at the beginning, its well worth it, though you should be prepared for some fairly graphic scenes (sexual / force).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars True Grit, 9 May 2008
By 
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
A fantastic film that had myself and a group of friends guessing throughout and lots of food for thought afterwards. The quality of the acting was superb as was the pace. We had watched Sherrybaby the week before that attempted at raw emotion, this supersedes anything I've seen for a long time and makes the attempts coming out of Hollywood look rather limp and pathetic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A low key, deeply intelligent, wonderfully acted thriller/ character study, 17 April 2011
By 
K. Gordon - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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Set in Glasgow, a woman who watches closed circuit TV all day for the police gets obsessed with a
particular man she believes may be a criminal (shades of 'Rear Window'). She personally starts to
track him, wrapping us up in her voyeurism.

Gradually, piece by piece, the whys behind the story fall into place, and we are ultimately lead to some
very emotional territory. Perhaps the ending twists are a bit pat, or quick, but they worked for me. If
Mike Leigh made a Hitchcock film, it might be something like this. (An amazing version of `Love Will
Tear Us Apart' over the end credits gave me shivers).

Tremendously impressive for a first feature (or a 10th feature for that matter!).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slow burning movie, 25 Feb. 2008
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Forget the over hyped Shane Meadows and make way for Andrea Arnold. Red Road is a laconic, psyhilological thriller about a woman who works in CCTV surveillance whose eyes rest upon a man on a Glasgow street- we know that she knows him but we don't know why- and she gets steadily obsessed with him. She frantically tracks the man via CCTV and once she works out where he lives she sets out on a quest of revenge for a crime that was committed in the past.
This is the most atmospheric movie I have seen in a long time. It has some truly shocking scenes of sex and violence. Red Road is a qualified triumph, but a triumph nonetheless, and the best UK directing debut in ages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars redemption! not revenge!, 10 Jan. 2008
By 
falloch (W. of Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Kate Dickie is luminous in this film - every scene with her is just graced with her performance - she is so ordinary and extraordinary looking simultaneously. I completely did not expect this quality of acting in this film; Curran too is v. good but Dickie carries it. The suspense, in terms of not knowing the full backstory (as opposed to wondering what's going to happen), is conveyed well - characters appear that you want to weight with the most sinister backgrounds because of the unknown story at the heart of the film. I have rarely seen a film whose key sexual scene was so absolutely necessary to the plot, and I love that there was no background music. In a big US studio treatment, this film would've been full of violins and tears - its starkness only enriches its finale. Only criticism is dialogue when there's loud background noise - Glaswegian accent is strong but discernible, but not against background noise - takes concentration! Previous reviewer said this film was part of series of films agreed with L. von Triers in terms of rules of filming. Does anyone know what are these other films? Were any as good as this one, or as successful commercially?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb film-making, 31 May 2007
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Red road is an excellent film, very tense, full of surprises and - above all - superbly filmed. The camera work is some of the best photography I've seen in a long time - some very arty shots, which are not at all pretentious, but give the film the understated, restrained atmosphere that other reviewers have referred to. Very, very good. Kate Dickie is fantastic.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A slowly unfolding story., 2 Jun. 2007
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Red Road [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
Very slowly the reason for Jackie's stalking of of ex-con Clyde is revealed. These two characters are excellently portrayed: both have complex personalities and motivations. The long delay before one begins to realize what drives Jackie's obsession makes the first half or more of the film a bit difficult to understand, but the film-maker maintains a sense of tension and menace that keeps the viewer watching.

Life in high-rise, council-housing estates in Glasgow is bleakly and realistically depicted. This aspect of the film reminded me of the film Train-spotting. Despite being Scottish I found quite a bit of the speech of the subsidiary characters unintelligible-maybe that's because I'm from Edinburgh! I needed sub-titles, particularly for Clyde's violent flat-mate.

It's not a happy film, but a good one, that leaves one moved by the characters' dismal lives.
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Red Road [DVD] [2006]
Red Road [DVD] [2006] by Andrea Arnold (DVD - 2007)
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