Thursday July 14th 2011
[The photo was even bigger before I scaled it down — just look at this detail of Gillen’s chest hair:
Anyway, this isn’t some kind of trichology blog. On with the review.]
Treacle Jr is the new one from The Low Down director Jamie Thraves and it’s an incredibly indie proposition. Thraves had to remortgage his own house to get the film made, and yet it still looks like the budget can’t have been more than 13 or maybe 14 pence. You suspect the two leads are old friends of the director (Gillen was in The Low Down at around the same time he struck it big in Queer as Folk) and their characters are named after them, though you might not necessarily know it with less-than-famous British actor Tom Fisher, whose recent IMDb credits can’t quite rival Gillen’s appearances in The Wire for credibility:
That’s right, Crusty. The character was called Crusty. Crusty from ‘The Oblong Murders’. We all remember that classic episode.
Here he plays Tom, a 40-year-old human male who abandons his comfortable family life in Birmingham to start afresh on the streets of Landan Tawn. Soon he meets Aidan (… Gillen), the proverbial Most Annoying Man on the Planet, and before long they’re teaching each other all sorts of important life lessons.
It’s being released this Friday as part of New British Cinema Quarterly, a scheme that purports to bring the ‘most distinctive and original British feature films’ to cinemas, but in practice also yields crap like 1234. Treacle Jr has all the hallmarks of such crap (THERE’S A SCENE IN A CAFF) but it’s actually really brilliant if you give it the time of day. Gillen delivers one of his best performances to date, his relationship with abusive girlfriend Linda offers a refreshing take on a familiar trope, and there’s the cuuutttteeeesssst iiiccccklleee kiittttenn in it.
Anyway, now you know what to do if Harry Potter is sold out.