The Selfish Giant

7.3| 1h31m| R| en

A hyperactive boy and his best friend, a slow-witted youth with an affinity for horses, start collecting scrap metal for a shady dealer.


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Cebalord Very best movie i ever watch
Executscan Expected more
AshUnow This is a small, humorous movie in some ways, but it has a huge heart. What a nice experience.
Geraldine The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.
JohnnyWeissmuller The Selfish Giant takes its name from the Oscar Wilde story, although it bears no relation, being an original story from director Cleo Barnard. Here, centering around the lives of two young Yorkshire boys who are without aspiration, education or a sound family unit. The two young stars of the film, Connor Chapman and Shaun Thomas, play Arbor and Swifty, best friends who spend their days skipping school and getting into further mischief in the streets and fields surrounding the run-down estate in which they live. Arbor, with his drug-addict brother and a mother who can't control them, and Swifty, with his numerous siblings and volatile parents who are so destitute they can't afford electricity to their house or a meal greater than beans and dry bread. By chance, the boys encounter two men stealing copper cable from the railway and, as the men hide from track engineers, the boys take the chance to steal the stolen cable and sell it to local scrap dealer, Kitten, played by Sean Gilder. The boys aspirations to earn some money has them working for Kitten, who abuses their naivety and trust as he pushes them into hard labour with little reward. Especially when Kitten sees Swifty's affinity with horses and an opportunity to win money trap racing on the motorway nearby. Not too far removed from Ken Loach's seminal Kes, The Selfish Giant is kitchen sink cinema with the added realism of people and place, Chapman and Thomas being non- professionals who reside in the area where the film is set, whilst the script and direction are uniformly excellent in a film that is devastatingly powerful and intensely moving.
runamokprods While not audacious and brave in it's style as Barnard's smashing debut "The Arbor", it explores much of the same territory – poverty in northern England. But this time Barnard uses a more neo-realist bent that recalls the films of Ken Loach, among others. And after two viewings, while I missed the wild rule-breaking she did in her first film, I felt she had made a film of gritty honest and emotional force. The story centers on two young teens (very well played by non-pros). Diminutive Arbor is hyperactive, angry, and so on the edge he can be frightening and simultaneously heartbreaking -- Arbor needs meds just to allow him to be calm enough to function. And there's Swifty, his best friend who is introvert to Arbor's extreme extrovert. Swifty is willing to go along with Arbor's schemes to a point, but he also wants to honor his mother's wish that he get an education, and try to move up and out of poverty. The two begin collecting (and sometimes stealing) scrap metal to sell to a tough local junk metal dealer, Kitten. This is a man who is capable of being almost a father figure one moment, and stomping you into the ground the next. A sort of modern Fagan, using the boys to do his bidding (although, to be fair, the boys come to him). A dark, moody and ultimately deeply disturbing film, that refuses to let us or society off lightly when it comes to kids growing up in the cycle of poverty.
snidgeskin The two leads, as unknowns, are superb, as are all the child actors in this.Of the adults it is clearly led by the performance of the three lead female actors (four: I should include the school receptionist). But this film has such an almost documentary feel about it you can forgive any of the acting that may feel a little strained or unnatural (perhaps because of a lacking in the script?).There are some wonderfully emotionally funny scenes equally matched by ones of sadness. People often use words such as grim, depressing or bleak. But this is Britain as it is; which is about looking for the humour and humanity beyond the circumstance of living. If you haven't been in Britain, then you might be forgiven, if you live here then maybe you have been sheltered: This is really how life can be; but it is far more a story about a boy's journey to manhood.As a statement on modern society then it speaks volumes to say that nothing is different now as from when it's 60's counterpart Kes was made, or for that matter in anytime in our history.But for me it won on all levels for it's such strong sense of humanity, on Arbor's journey of discovery, which was lacking, somewhat, in Kes.
billcr12 Two adolescent boys in working class England travel together with a horse and cart and gather up scrap metal to sell to a local dealer. The kids are extremely resourceful, and figure out ways to steal cable and set it on fire to melt the covering for the resulting copper. The guy who buys it all has no morals whatsoever and eventually it results in a very bad outcome which shocked the hell out of me. The only problem I had is the very Cockney English accents which I had trouble understanding. British audiences will get more out of this film than I did as an American. I could have used subtitles to get every line. Even with that caveat, I would recommend The Selfish Giant for the excellent cast and interesting story.