The Low Down (2000)

Genres - Comedy Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Coming-of-Age, Ensemble Film, Romantic Comedy, Urban Comedy  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Jason Clark

Another small gem unearthed by the indispensable Shooting Gallery Film Series, this extremely well-acted look at a loose-knit group of English fringe dwellers is exactly the type of material one can see being cheapened by sub-moronic Hollywood filmmakers, but here it looks and sounds just right. The movie is hardly a groundbreaking addition to the legion of slacker flicks that surfaced in the 1990s and on into the next century, but writer/director Jamie Thraves employs a keen sense of control on the picture, wisely letting his gifted cast excavate the subtleties of the (slim) narrative. Best of all is the enormously talented Aidan Gillen, who turns the cliché of the heterosexual male dreamer into a full-bodied character with all of the complications of a real-life figure. The picture also benefits from Thraves' admirable use of 16 mm instead of reveling in the shaky handheld, bleached-out look favored by his contemporaries. This choice immediately brands the director's debut as one that strives to stand apart from the pack, and it does so in more ways than one.