Dixie – Johnny Owen’s plucky Welshman at the centre of this music biz romantic dramedy – is a well observed creation; an endlessly likeable schmo with a passion for music and an insatiable need to make it big managing a band. He moves to London with his girlfriend Shell (the just-as-pluckyVicky McClure) to bring superstardom to a talented but juvenile online discovery, The Premature Congratulations, but his idealistic, naïve temperament soon comes to blows with the ruthlessness of the big city scene…
Director: Scott Graham
Screenwriter: Scott Graham,
Cast: Chloe Pirrie, Joseph Mawle, Iain De Caestecker, Michael Smiley
Runtime: 90 mins
Release Date: In Cinemas March 15
Scott Graham’s first feature is as bleak as its Scottish Highland setting. Confined almost entirely to a remote petrol station, this is a frustrating struggle of a picture which considers the effects of isolation, depression and illness on the relationship between a father (Joseph Mawle) and his daughter, the eponymous Shell (Chloe Pirrie).
The Scandinavian influences are well pronounced, Yoliswa Gärtig’s widescreen digital photography capturing the harsh beauty of the landscape and picking out the fragility of Shell’s world which rumbles and rattles as lorries pass along their highland road. With a careful use of close-ups and diagetic sound we are forced into a tactile relationship with this uncomfortable world that will make you shiver, wince and gasp. The narrative also echoes the Dogme movement, events unfolding laboriously with a focus on tedium and the kind of jobs that get dirt under your fingernails. With its slight nature, lack of sensational material or use of music (a few lovely key moments aside), this is low-key storytelling that manages to be enthralling in its own way … Read more @ Rhythm Circus
Shell is screening in selected cinemas from tomorrow. Buy tickets here.
Having made significant waves on the festival circuit – including nabbing the Best Film prize at the Turin Film Festival – Scott Graham’s Shell is due for it’s theatrical release on 15th March. The film won’t have you jumping for joy as it’s subject matter and tone are difficult, but this is arresting, beautiful filmmaking with a strong performance from Chloe Pirrie.
My review will be online at Rhythm Circus in the next couple of weeks.
For now, here’s the trailer…