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Scouting Book for Boys, The


Stars: Thomas Turgoose, Holliday Grainger, Susan Lynch, Rafe Spall, Steven Mackintosh, Ewen McIntosh, Tony Maudsley

Director: Tom Harper

You can bet that no film involving young British actor Turgoose is going to be a barrel of laughs. And so it proves, in spades, in this truly grim tragedy in which Turgoose and Grainger play kindred 15-year-old spirits who live on a Norfolk coast trailer park, and lark around by racing round the tops of the trailers.

For some reason the girl, Emily, decides to run away and hides in a cave where the boy, David, (who seems to have no parents, at least none that we ever see) besotted with her, supplies her with food and clothing. His world is shattered when she tells him she's pregnant by the friend (Spall) of her mother (Lynch).
Meanwhile, the police launch a huge search for her.

Does this end in tears? You bet. Hell, it's a Thomas Turgoose film. Acting is OK, photography fine if unnecessarily prettified; but the film will drag you down with it, negating any achievements it might have made. The deceptively upbeat title is (tenuously) based on a briefly-seen book David brings the girl in her cave hideaway.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Pathé. Fujicolor.
92 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 16 Mar 2010