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44 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `The Selfish Giant' is the sort of film that the British excel in
`The Selfish Giant' is British filmmaker Clio Barnard's new film, set on the same Bradford estate that featured in her debut `The Arbor'. Swifty (Shaun Thomas) and Arbor (Conner Chapman) are two thirteen year old boys, best friends who always seem to be upto something they shouldn't be in. But theirs is not merely a selfish path of youthful gratification, they know their...
Published 8 months ago by dipesh parmar

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a family film for a Sunday Afternoon!
Excellent Child actors....grim story but very well played out by the two main characters who you end up liking despite the background
Published 2 months ago by John Prendergast


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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 29 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Selfish Giant [DVD] (DVD)
i loved this film well worth the money.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not a family film for a Sunday Afternoon!, 27 May 2014
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Excellent Child actors....grim story but very well played out by the two main characters who you end up liking despite the background
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3.0 out of 5 stars Its tuff up nurth .., 25 May 2014
This review is from: The Selfish Giant (DVD)
Well paced and directed but ultimately flawed. Too many events which stretch credibility for a film which purports to have its roots in social reality.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Selfish Giant, 7 May 2014
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This review is from: The Selfish Giant [DVD] (DVD)
Missed this at the cinema so bought the dvd as it was a film I'd wanted to see following the glowing reviews in the press. It's heartwarming but depressing at the same time. Two boys on the edge of society trying to make money from stealing scrap metal and selling to a dealer. Never at school of course. Tragic, funny and thought provoking. Good film but not up to the fantastic reviews.
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5.0 out of 5 stars High class drama., 26 April 2014
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This review is from: The Selfish Giant [DVD] (DVD)
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.

Brilliant acting, super production, and outstanding camera work.

I would have shown it to my Grandsons but for the - appropriately - colourful language.

Please, Hollywood, don't do your version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic but also funny and heartwarming, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: The Selfish Giant [DVD] (DVD)
Really good film. Very realistic and very well acted. Even though there is tragedy towards the end, there is hope when Arbor is forgiven by Swifty's mother. An excellent portrayal of friendship, growing up and the consequence of decisions made.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Capitalism in the raw., 16 April 2014
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This review is from: The Selfish Giant [DVD] (DVD)
It would be false to say that I liked this film. In fact, it was hard to watch, in its depiction of life at the bottom of the social ladder.
Here we have two young boys from families struggling to survive, in a world in which education and background are hugely influential. More than this, it depicts graphically the hopelessness and helplessness of children from families where shouting, swearing and using their fists, is the only form of communication and a hugely ineffective form of discipline; and school serves no purpose for them when survival is the prime objective.
Yet, in stealing precious metals (copper, etc.) from wiring in an attempt to earn money and acceptance with scrap dealers (surrogate fathers), the protagonists show interest in the horses. One boy, in particular, has a 'feel' for the horse when riding the carriage, and therefore potential for racing, This is the first time he has received credit for anything, thereby incurring envy in his friend, who draws him into the very dangerous game of stealing metal from live wiring sites. The friend wears protective clothing, he does not. The consequences and the promise of the boy with a feel for horses, is predictable.
It left me with a number of thoughts and feelings: in any setting, to show promise and to have it recognized, incurs envy in others. Money is the driving force in every strata of society and where there is absolute poverty, childhood and education, are easily sacrificed in the quest for survival. Yet, what is survival at this level?
This is a grim, Dickensian, yet hugely evocative film, the rawness and the poverty of the characters authentically drawn, the acting superb, particularly from the two protagonists, whose quest takes them to dangerous and ultimately deadly places.
Yet, as in Dickens, the potential of characters, for whom childhood has little meaning, shows itself in subtle ways. The harshness of the environment, of language and of appearances, almost obscures the desire and longing of the protagonists to be accepted for their achievements, and to be given the opportunity to shine and to make some money out of it, in order to achieve more than simple survival.
Not a film I would watch over and over, but none-the-less, a brilliant depiction of childhood poverty in the raw and a measure of what children will do to improve their lot, in the only way they knew how - by emulating the men (also outcasts in society) yet strangely emulating the way of all trade: the survival of the fittest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film!!!!!, 9 April 2014
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This review is from: The Selfish Giant [DVD] (DVD)
this is a must see film, may shed a tear or two but much recommended, it was a much anticipated purchase
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great acting is still alive and kicking, 31 Mar 2014
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Brilliant, well acted and gives an insight to how children think. However the front cover's "Pulsing with life" .....Not sure where they get that from!
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Jewel of a film..., 29 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Selfish Giant [DVD] (DVD)
This beautifully filmed story is of the quality of 'Kes' and if you liked 'Kes' - you will like this. With a northern setting, some strong dialect and a very strong and sensitive cast, the film captures the unearthly beauty of some urban landscapes and the loyalty and resilience of childhood - against all odds. Don't miss it. A film you will want to watch again and again...
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The Selfish Giant [Blu-ray]
The Selfish Giant [Blu-ray] by Clio Barnard (Blu-ray - 2014)
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