Cannes Prix du Jury-winning Scottish noir thriller about a Glasgow CCTV operator who ends up stalking a man she sees on screen. Andrea Arnold's first full-length feature after winning an Academy Award for her short film, 'Wasp', follows Jackie (Kate Dickie) a Glasgow CCTV control-room operator. One day, watching the monitors, she sees a man (Dickie Curran) she knows but is trying to forget and is soon helplessly outside her jurisdiction and brief, stalking the man, on camera, back to his flat. Eventually she crosses the line and goes to the address, meeting a young man (Martin Compston) whom, she finds out, lives there along with her subject.
Gritty, grim social realism set in contemporary Glasgow. Superbly paced thriller, persuasively acted. Remarkable artistic control from an outstanding new director. Maybe the bleakness becomes too oppressive, a kind of inverted sentimentality. Great art shows how beauty and ugliness usually exist alongside one another. There's a glimmer of something like deliverance here but if life were really so unrelentingly brutal, there'd be little point going on. There's a point at which a certain kind of verisimilitude tips over into misanthropy. Ken Loach gives us something to rejoice in even when we're sharing hideous deprivations.
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!).