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Customer reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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on 22 June 2014
got this film from amazon for 5p and was well worth it I am a fan of Ciaran hinds so it helped make it more enjoyable DVD is perfect no complaints on this film no scratches or marks thankyou to amazon, The sea arrived safe and well and before release date

great service amazon

from a happy Customer Gillian Brown
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on 6 January 2017
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on 17 March 2015
brilliant film aided by the timeless beauty of the gorgeous Sophia Myles and the strong male cast members
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on 28 April 2015
One of my favourite films!!!!. Love it. It has a unusual storyline, and beautifully filmed. Believable characters. Quirky.
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on 7 December 2012
Yes, this is one of the most surprising and intelligent films I have ever seen. Typically British, visually interesting, very good music. Jamie Bell again proved himself as very talented actor.
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A young man is bitter about the suicide of his mother and isolates himself by sleeping in a tree house and spying on people whilst convincing himself that there's more to his mother's death than just suicide.

Feeling pushed out of his family home by his father and his new girlfriend, he chances on a young woman who looks incredibly like his late mum. He finds happiness in watching her and his childhood starts to express itself again - but the relationship between them quickly changes.

This is an intriguing film as you're never quite sure where it's going and the tone changes quickly every-so-often. Some of the rooftop scenes give a unique view (quite literally) of the cityscape and I loved the gothic look of the scenes with Hallam in the clock tower.

The banter between Hallam and old-timer kitchen staff member Raymond is done to perfection. Their strained relationship becomes steeped in camaraderie - and though you don't see much of them together, what you do get is loaded with pathos.

Jamie Bell is perfectly suited to the role of late-teen Hallam Foe. He is physically suited to rooftop acrobatics and is capable of putting across the look of a vulnerable young man without it looking overdone. He has a natural chemistry with Sophia Myles, and the scenes with Hallam and Kate always draw you in. In fact, it isn't until the two meet that the film really kicks in and you really want to stick with it. Myles impresses too as the liberal head of HR, like Jamie Bell she comes across as natural and has doesn't have a glossy Hollywood look (which would ruin the film). She's very much the pretty blonde who might well be sat next to you on the train, or be working in the office next door - and helps keep the film feeling real.

In a nutshell: It takes a while to bed down - but the film becomes a compelling watch as you see a young man with a damaged mind go on a journey to resolve his burning angst. His fragile state is only mended after taking things too far and he shocking himself into the truth.
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on 10 April 2008
Jamie's Billy Elliott was triumphant - but where has he been? Well - he's had an unfortunate bit part in 'King Kong' and played a emotionally messed up teenager in the likeable 'Chumscrubber' - but it is here in this off-beat low-budget British film that he has finally exercised the huge potential he displayed as an Actor in Billy Elliott.
Hallam Foe is a quirky - off-beat story of loss, set in the beautiful Old-Town of Edinburgh. Though Hallam displays an unusual talent for 'breaking and entering' it is his intense fascination with 'watching' which some might find unnerving.
At the beginning of the film, the viewer will have little clue as to what the film is about or where it is going, but the performances and locations are so entrancing as to hold the attention long enough to peel back the layers of his character and his internal rationalisations.
At times slightly dark - the film does leave you feeling 'better' and wanting more. Bell's raw vulnerability in character coupled to the occasional flash of a heart-melting smile completely draw you in. His naked ambition to show all of his talent is very much evident and if you can suspend some disbelief and enjoy the more realistic - you will enjoy the film.
By the way - his Scots accent is impressive as is his mature and very honed physique.
This Geordie deserves to go very, very far. Well done Jamie - for picking a project that is worthy!
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on 16 May 2015
Seventeen year-old Hallam Foe is a weird teenager that misses his mother, who committed suicide, drowning in a lake nearby their house in Edinburgh after an overdose of sleeping pills.

Hallam spends his spare time peeping at the locals and blames his stepmother Verity Foe, accusing her of killing his mother. After a discussion with his father Julius Foe, Hallam sneaks out from his house and travels to Edinburgh, where he sees Kate Breck and becomes obsessed with her because of her resemblance to his mother.

Kate hires Hallam to work in the kitchen of the hotel where she works and they have a strange romance, while Hallam reaches his maturity the hardest way....

Now this could be classed as a kind of Psycho for snobs. Yes, it's very impressive to look at, and the performances are great, but it concentrates too much on the mother fixation to convince us that this is some kind of psychedelic coming of age movie, or the Anti-Ferris Beuller if you would.

It's not very nice to watch in some scenes, and it has a downbeat feel all the way through, But Bell and Miles put some much needed human elements into it, thanks to their decidedly weird relationship.

The soundtrack is absolutely amazing, and just about saves the film, but it doesn't really make a lot of sense unfortunately, it's just a film about a boy who cannot forget about his mother, tries to get away from it, finds a woman who looks like his mother, watches her have sex, and in the last minute of the film decides not to dwell and find himself instead.

A bit bland to be honest.
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Hallam Foe(the unusual name of the central character) is a tale of a troubled grieving teenager living out a classic Freudian Oedipal fantasy. Complete with a wicked Stepmother and the girl of his dreams who just happens to resemble his dead mother (the object of his desires obligingly puts on the deceased's dress at one point), we're definitely not in Kansas anymore. Did Mummy top herself or did the wicked stepmother kill her on the path to Daddy's wealth? Hallam is driven out of his rural lost boys world to scrape a living on the roofs of Edinburgh, continuing his obsessions with spying on the world and sneaking into houses (for goodness sake does nobody fit deadlocks or velux blinds?)

I'm not sure how well the book was translated to the screen- as it's set mostly on the rooftops of Edinburgh I would have fitted it into the quirky Scottish genre inhabited by Iain Banks' "The Wasp Factory", or Irving Welsh's "Trainspotting". The online biographies of the author Peter Jinks just place him as living in Sicily with nothing of his formative background. Certainly the adaptation strives to fit the tale into that inventive offbeat Scottish genre.

Unfortunately the abrupt consequence free ending made me reinterpret all the previous flights of fancy as a misogynistic indulgence. Is the idea just to damn the stepmother and the love interest as rampant tarts and the men as their manipulated fools?

However Jamie Bell was convincing in the unusual role. He still likes to demonstrate the athleticism of a grown up Billy Eliot as he leaps up the chimney stacks. And my, Mr Bell, you have been working out- very impressive in the buff! As films go, it was a cut above the current popcorn fodder.
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`Hallam Foe' has some seriously witty situational comedy, but at heart remains a sympathetic drama of seventeen-year-old Hallam (played by Jamie Bell with his usual high standards of commitment) trying to come to terms with the recent death of his mother. His father, played by Ciaran Hinds, is no help and just fans the flames of Hallam's acute fiery sense of loss.

Escaping from his childhood home - a castle in the Borders - Hallam heads for the dirt, grit, and romance of modern-day Edinburgh. Here he meets up with Kate, who in short succession becomes his boss, his lover, and his mother-substitute, a relationship born out of his "unedifying habit" of being a peeping tom.

I have some issues with the plot, but it does all (just about) hold together. However, I do feel the film's denouement could have been less imaginatively handled. (It somewhat beggars belief.) I fail to see why it was given an `18' rating; `15' would be more reasonable, it seems to me.

In his commentary, director David Mackenzie explains the juggling he had to do between the realism of Hallam's existence and Hallam's internal fairy-tale world. He also points out where live-action ended and studio-action began. I must admit to not seeing any element of CGI, which shows how brilliantly it was done. Other extras on my DVD include five deleted scenes, and twenty-three minutes of behind-the-scenes interviews and action.

`Hallam Foe' is, then, both an entertaining film and a sharp comment on the loss of a loved one. An exceptionally good cast under fine direction ensures the film never loses the interest of the viewer who can only end up wishing the best for Hallam.
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