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SEEN Reviews: To Dream

This absorbing drama centres around the close friendship between two boys, whose benighted lives and screwed-up family dynamics cause them to be the centre of each other’s world. Tommy (Freddie Thorp) has a mother who is oblivious to his needs. Luke (Edward Hayter) has a father who has turned to alcohol, and bullying Luke is the only way he can relate to his son.

This absorbing drama centres around the close friendship between two boys, whose benighted lives and screwed-up family dynamics cause them to be the centre of each other’s world. Tommy (Freddie Thorp) has a mother who is oblivious to his needs. Luke (Edward Hayter) has a father who has turned to alcohol, and bullying Luke is the only way he can relate to his son. Girls and drugs offer little respite. The only sustaining element of their lives is the mutual dream they have to escape to America, to palm-lined boulevards and eternal sunshine. Tommy has no qualms about leaving, but Luke can’t seem to tear himself away from his father, inspiring a desperate attempt by Tommy to precipitate their departure to paradise.

to_dream

To say any more would be to reveal a plot twist, but SEEN reckons that with Andrea Arnold setting her latest film in America, there is scope for writer, director and producer of ‘To Dream’, Nicole Albarelli, to make her mark over here. Like Arnold, Albarelli relishes the interiority of her characters and resists cliché, establishing Tommy and Luke’s dignity and complexity with humour and pathos. The film makes good use of its urban locations, reportedly shooting over six days. Rarely has London looked quite so alienating; the only moments of respite emerging from the boys’ moments of emotional intimacy, and Luke’s childhood memories of his loving mother.

The acting by the two leads is genuinely empathetic; Hayter and Thorp have a real rapport, and they’re both ones to watch. A strong turn by Frank Jakeman as Luke’s father, Charlie, sets up the necessary antipathy, but reveals a man broken by his own circumstances. So good to see Adam Deacon as scary-but-funny drug dealer, Easy. The film was inspired by Albarelli’s own experience of observing male friends disappearing down the rabbit-hole of self-abuse. SEEN awaits her next film with keen anticipation.

Seen this week

Categories DesignPosted on

Christmas competition: Win a Pair of London City Cufflinks

Yes indeed, to celebrate the festive season and the iconic buildings of London, SEEN and City Cufflinks are collaborating to give one lucky reader a pair of the beautiful, hand-made London City Cufflinks featuring St Paul’s Cathedral, City Hall and many more. They’re a wonderful way to accessorise a smart business suit and a witty way to demonstrate your appreciation of the London skyline.

Categories MusicPosted on

Oscar Jerome Headlines at the Montague Arms London in January 2018

SEEN has been enjoying the music of South London artist Oscar Jerome, who has confirmed release details for the ‘Subdued EP’ – due out January 26, 2018 – alongside a video for the title track & lead single. This new four-track collection will follow Oscar’s 2016 self-titled debut EP, which drew praise from the likes …

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Focus Ldn at the Menier: Winter Exhibition

Tom Cox is fast becoming one of the hottest young curators on the London art scene. Often to be found sketching along the South Bank and in Brixton, the city has long been a major source of inspiration for him. Together with talented artists also living and working in London, Tom now mounts a Winter …

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The Georg Jensen Christmas Tree at the Royal Exchange

If you find yourself at the historic Royal Exchange, do be sure to pop in and have a look at the Georg Jensen Christmas Tree. It was unveiled recently by former Spice Girl and National Treasure, Emma Bunton. If you’ve never been, the Royal Exchange a luxury shopping destination in the heart of the city.

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Ajax at the Space: Ripples Spreading Outwards

It is astonishing to think that Sophocles’ famous play Ajax has as much relevance today as it did when it was first written and performed 2000 years ago. The terrible effects of war on mental health echo down the centuries in Esmond Productions’ gender-bending version, with women playing all the roles. Post-traumatic stress disorder wreaks …