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Film Reviews: The Legend of Barney Thomson - Eden

28/07/2015 15:08 BST | Updated 22/07/2016 10:59 BST

Robert Carlyle's directorial debut, The Legend of Barney Thomson is a raw Glaswegian comedic twist on Sweeney Todd that's a black humour drenched delight - Eden, Mia Hansen Love's drama is a perceptive, intelligent and dynamic tale that chronicles one man's love of Garage music and his dream of becoming a DJ in Paris in the 90s.

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Director: Robert Carlyle

Cast: Robert Carlyle, Emma Thompson, Ray Winston, Tom Courtney

Genre: Crime, Comedy

Language: English

Country of Origin: UK 2015 90 mins.

Certificate: Rating: ****

Adapted from Douglas Lindsay's novel 'Long Midnight of Barney Thomson', Robert Carlyle's directorial debut is a raw comedic Glaswegian twist on Sweeney Todd.

Glaswegian barber Barney Thomson's destined to always be at the back of the queue. You don't ask Barney for a trim - he's not up for chit chat and smiles and his chair's moved from the prime front of shop position and is on its way to the back door and dole queue. That can't be right, not after all the years Barney's put in.

Barney didn't mean to kill the boss, he just wanted to talk things over. Accidents happen. What does a boy when he's got a body in the boot of his car ? Turn to his chain smoking, foul mouthed, bingo obsessed lover of leopard print clothes, mother Cemolina played with mad abandon by Emma Thompson.

Glasgow's the posting from hell for Cockney Detective Inspector Holdall (Ray Winston) who hates the very soil it's built on but he's convinced Barney's the serial killer who posts body parts to victim's relatives from Scotland's finest tourist spots. Add on Detective Inspector June Robertson (Ashley Jenson) who wants the case and Chief Superintendent McManaman (Tom Courtney) who's baffled by it and you've got Glasgow at it's best.

Emma Thomson's terrific, Ray Winston's cockney comedic hard done by pitch works perfectly and Tom Courtney's at home as Glasgow's bitter police chief. It sags slightly half way through but there's a punchy script, Fabian Wagner's cinematography's spot on and Glasgow shines.

Released 24th July

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Director: Mia Hansen-Love

cast: Greta Gerwig, Golschiftch Farahani, Felix de Gevry

Genre: Drama, Music

Language: French with English subtitles

Country of Origin: France 2014 131 mins.

Certificate 15

Rating: ****

Brilliantly observed, accomplished, warm and dynamic, Eden casts a seductive fictional eye over the French clubbing scene in the 90s that spans two decades and chronicles the rise and fall of one of the DJs who pioneered the French electro music scene in the 90s.

Life can be chasing a dream and with Paul Vallee's (Felix de Givry) passion for Garage music, it's life as a DJ. Mia Hansen-Love and her brother Sven who co-wrote the script and was one of the pioneering DJs of the French 90s rave scene has a great eye for detail and captures the buzz, energy and passion of the dance floor.

With his close knit group of friends ever present - his lover Louise (Pauline Etienne), artist Cyril (Roman Kolinka), and Arnaud (Vincent Macaigne), Paul forms Cheers, a DJ duo and dreams of putting his French Touch on the world dance scene. The screen's filled with a twenty year journey, lives change, dreams pass, dreams are broken. The acting's naturalistic as Denis Lenoir's camera peers into a unique rhythm-filled world, Paul's atmosphere of 'euphoria and melancholia,' Clubbers, the tight knit group of friends living the dream, cameos from real-life house names, Paul's mother (Arsinee Khanjian), tapped for cash ever anxious for her son to leave the dream, fantasy and reality mixing with a seductive rhythm, tobacco and coke. It's seductive. It's living at night but how do you keep the dream?

Seductive terrific cinema.

Released 24th July

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