Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Actor Peter Mullan won the 1998 Cannes Film Festival "Best Actor" award with this film, directed by Ken Loach (Carla's Song, Ladybird, Ladybird). The drama is set in Possilpark, one of Glasgow's poorest neighborhoods, a rough section where half the population is out of work. Unemployed reformed alcoholic Joe Kavanagh (Mullan) does odd jobs and manages a stumbling soccer team. One of the players is Liam (David McKay), in debt to hood McGowan (David Hayman). Liam and junkie Sabine (Annemarie Kennedy) are raising a small son. After Joe meets social worker Sarah (Louise Goodall), he and his pal Shanks show up to help in the wallpapering of Sarah's apartment. This job creates a problem for Joe with the local unemployment office, until Sarah steps in to cover. It's the beginning of a romance, and Joe and Sarah make an effort to help Liam and Sarah when they are threatened by the loan sharks. Mullan commented, "The drug problem in that place is so serious that people are passive. They are corralled in a sort of dog-eat-dog environment where humans meet to laugh and thrive but have no hope of getting out." Scripted by former lawyer Paul Laverty, the film is inspired by the first half of Loach's Carla's Song.
High Artistic Quality, Sleeper