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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 3.7%
Average: 3.7%
Pretty Bad: 22.22%
Total Crap: 7.41%

3 reviews, 9 user ratings

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by Chris Parry

"Something truly special. They don't come together like this very often."
5 stars

Some people make movies to be famous. Others because they have a story to tell. Very rarely do the second group get to tell their special story exactly how they intended and still manage to make the end product an intelligent, relevant, beautiful piece of cinematic art, especially at the first try. Ratcatcher is just sublime in it's attention to detail, meandering soul and astoundingly frank performances. It's less a movie, more a trip, and almost a memory.

The locale is Glasgow, the cruddy part of town. Built up accomodation, the garbage collectors interminably on strike, rats aplenty, families squashed into squalor, and the usual sort of anti-civilisation that accompanies folks when they're forced to live their nightmares. William Eadie is James, a ten year old living with his two sisters, mother and father in a tiny room. Tommy Flanagan (best remembered as the manservant with the big facial scar who helps Rusty Crowe come back to Rome in Gladiator) is James' dad, equal parts drunk, bored, angry and lost. Every day, James' older sister hops on a bus and disappears from the drudgery of the housing estate to parts unknown. James has no idea where she goes, but one day decides to hop on himself and see where the path leads and discover what lies out there beyond the ghetto walls.

Back home all that awaits him are surreally mental neighbours, a creak full of shit, rats, memories of a dead friend and a local girl who has found that the only way she can get any sort of acceptance on the estate is to let the local lads have their way with her. But on the outside lies a world he's never known before. It's new and it has colours.

Lynne Ramsay's debut feature is astonishingly good. Sure, I like reviewing films in a way that gives people a giggle, but this is a film where that just wouldn't do justice to the work in question. I'm forced into seriousness because being flip about such a film would never really portray just how important a work it is. This is the kind of stuff you'll go to museums to see in twenty years time. A stark, harrowing look at urban Glasgow, bleak as it is intriguing, dark as it is full of life.

If you have ever felt alone, in a mindset where all you want in the world is something new to come along and wrap you up in it's arms, dragging you from the monotony and abandonment of your world, Ratcatcher will take you by surprise, throw a smile on your face and take you away to a world you've possibly not seen in a long time. The world of your imagination.

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originally posted: 10/20/00 21:58:25
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User Comments

1/19/09 futurestar makes me wanna' move to glasgow, quit bathing, & become walking greenhouse for parasites 5 stars
7/29/04 BM An amazing debut - sensitive, exsquisitely crafted, and beautifully understated! 5 stars
3/23/04 Matt Thiel Incomprehensible trash (Hey, I tried to like it) 1 stars
2/26/01 acid man only for losers w/ no real concept of life, this movie is only for the mentally weak 1 stars
12/22/00 erich groat possibly the best movie I've ever seen. Amazing. 5 stars
12/20/00 Saucy Bellows Sublime... Ramsey's creative verve has produced the most poetic Brit film since Kes. 5 stars
11/08/00 Spetters Really weird, but strangely compelling. 4 stars
11/05/00 Gray dreary and unoriginal 3 stars
10/18/00 Klute. Great film, very well shot and performed, a must see. 5 stars
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