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Run review – former boy racer driven to zombified despair | Film


Game of Thrones actor Mark Stanley gives a less-is-more masterclass in acting in this low-key social realist drama from Scott Graham, set in a rundown Aberdeenshire fishing town. It’s a film with echoes of Andrea Arnold and perhaps Ken Loach – but Graham is a local boy, and brings a sense of place and character that is all his own. And Stanley is terrific: real and believable playing a family man in his 30s nagged by a sense that his life has gone nowhere. He’s become a kind of zombified version of himself, mumbling and clenched, with no way of communicating how he feels.

Stanley plays Finnie, who as a teenager was a boy racer. Back then, he got matching Bruce Springsteen tattoos – Born to Run – with his girlfriend Katie (Amy Manson) and dreamed of getting out. Instead, they got married and had two children. Finnie now works in a fish-gutting factory, and the years have made him angry and exhausted. When Katie buys him a going-out shirt he shrugs; where are they going to go?

These days it’s Finnie’s teenage son, Kid (Anders Hayward), who races cars, with his pregnant off-on girlfriend, Kelly (brilliantly played by Marli Siu). One night, after a family row, Finnie takes Kid’s car out, and ends up with Kelly in the passenger seat. Suddenly, he sees the possibility of a different life, a second act, a chance to do things differently and put his mistakes right.

The film isn’t perfect. Some of the emotional scenes feel flat or underpowered; but moments in the car when Finnie is driving suicidally fast are horribly tense. And for a story about manhood in crisis, the women here are satisfyingly three-dimensional; it’s their tenderness that gives the film its beating heart. Finnie’s wife, Katie, is sparky and wise. And pregnant Kelly has the best line, delivered with humour and heartbreaking vulnerability: “How can someone love you the one day and not the next? I still love everyone I’ve ever loved. I’m like a dog.”

Run is released in the UK on 13 March.

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