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Ruby Blue


Stars: Bob Hoskins, Josiane Balasko, Chloe Sirene, Jody Latham, Sam Talbot

Director: Jan Dunn

That variable actor Bob Hoskins is spot on here as an elderly widower, Jack, whose friendship with an eight-year-old girl brings him under suspicion when the girl goes missing. Writer-director Jan Dunn, reuniting many of the cast from her previous gritty film Gypo, brings out all the poignancy of the situation in this small-scale but effective film that seems destined to find an eventual home among the early hours scheduling of a minority TV channel.

The performances of Hoskins and veteran French actress Josiane Balasko, however, not only make it worth a look, but retain interest in their characters throughout.

Hoskins' grumpy, slovenly old man whose sour nature is sweetened by the gamine who moves in next door is one of his most fully-rounded creations, worthy of sitting beside his Vivian Van Damm in Mrs Henderson Presents and his even creepier predator in Felicia's Journey.

Having said that, some of the other characters are too pat - plucked from a glossary of ghetto cliches - and the 'twist' ending will provide no surprise for nine out of 10 viewers.

David Quinlan

UK 2007. UK Distributor: Medb Films. Colour.
108 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 25 Apr 2008