I’d be laughed out the room for saying these films weren’t of the left - they are - but for me it’s always the humanist reading of a situation that chimes; not crude dialectic, because it’s always the people we care most about and it’s as much about human frailty as failure of a system (which is our frailty or failure - and so society goes on...) To misquote: ‘we’re all only a few inches from the gutter’ anyway.
Continues much of the conventional post-war social realist lineage - homosocial emphasis, absent fathers, poetic expansion of rural landscapes, the Angry Young Man - and situates it within a signatory Loachian moral didacticism, condemning the cyclical patterns and discursively violent language of toxic masculinity and substitutive capitalist exploitation. Bleak but constantly engaging.
Unglamorous social realist gangsterdom brought to life. Loach paints a dystopian warped vision of 'The American Dream' in Scottish heartlands. An uncompromisingly bleak portrait of an under-privileged adolescent's only hope of money and power. It comes at a price.
Stark, gritty and gut wrenchingly real. At times endearing, others deeply saddening. Compston's stellar performance endears us to his character, a good boy caught in a hopeless situation making the final scenes all the more devastating. I think I need to go and watch some Disney now.