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Hundred Streets, A


Stars: Gemma Arterton, Idris Elba, Franz Drameh, Tom Cullen, Kierston Wareing, Ken Stott, Charlie Creed-Miles, Ashley Thomas

Director: Jim O'Hanlon

Three stories within a square mile of London: there's a small amount of interlocking, but mostly they remain of a piece, entertaining, moving and occasionally horrifying us. The morality is sometimes a little dubious, and tragedy only averted with a slight loss of credibility, but the acting is good all round from a strong cast.

The poshest people are Emily (Arterton) and her husband Max (Elba), an ex-England rugby captain who has degenerated into a drunken, coke-sniffing womaniser, albeit one who wants his wife - currently having a fling with an old flame (Cullen) - and children back.

Cab driver George (Creed-Miles) and his wife (Wareing), approaching middle age, find their plans to adopt hampered by his convictions for football hooliganism as a teenager. And the black teenager in our story (Drameh) is into drug-dealing for a local crime kingpin and petty violence in general - and thrown out, too, by his mother, when she discovers a gun in his bedroom drawer.

On community service, he befriends a local theatre manager (Stott) and redemption beckons when he's recommended to the district's arts centre, to which Emily, an ex-actress, has just returned.

Developments thereafter seem a shade too convenient, opting for second chances rather than retribution. You feel that in real life, the endings to some of these stories might have been different.

Still, Arterton and Elba give two of their best performances, and newcomer Drameh is convincing, but the film's major asset is Creed-Miles. Once again, this neglected actor, completely sinking himself into his character, is outstanding.

David Quinlan

UK 2016. UK Distributor: Vertigo. Colour by Panalux.
93 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 07 Nov 2016