For all the stunning visual poetry - Ramsay's a bit of a show-off with the camera, still young and filled with ideas from film school - the rest of the picture is maudlin and almost nihilistic, showing happiness as sleep or fleeting moments of quiet, the rest of the time it being pure agony, where young girls are raped and tormented and boys pick lice out of their hair or willingly drown. Lacks a sense of humor - or a legitimate ending - and I mentally switched it off when Ramsay turns a mouse tied onto a balloon into a metaphor for life. Another thought: shouldn't someone - the government, the police - you know, fence off the river/canal?
Director: Lynne Ramsay
Year Released: 1999