Lee Anderson, Assistant Manager at Regal Picturehouse, Henley-on-Thames, previews today’s Discover Tuesdays title: Chicken.
Director: Joe Stephenson.
Starring: Scott Chambers, Morgan Watkins, Yasmin Paige. UK 2015. 86 mins.
What a brilliant film – a truly wonderful coming-of-age story. From the very beginning you get to know what life is like for Richard (Scott Chambers), a 15-year-old with learning difficulties. It’s immediately clear that his character is the one that you will fall in love with and want to support.
We first meet Richard wandering around the local woodland and farmland while playing with a golf ball. Here director Joe Stephenson’s vision for the film is apparent: amidst all this stunning landscape is a very lonely individual looking for acceptance, company and somewhere to call home. Nonetheless, his optimistic outlook on life is infectious.
We also meet Richard’s older brother, Polly (Morgan Watkins), who has spent most of his life looking after Richard – although when we meet him he is trying to make a living by any means possible, and then using that to his own advantage instead of helping his brother. During the film it is very clear that Richard dotes on Polly: he lets him abuse, shout at and physically harm him, and he still cannot let go – even after all the revelations towards the end of the film
We also meet Annabell (Yasmin Paige), who has come to live on the farm with her foster family. Annabell meets Richard, strikes up a conversation and gets to know him. From that point onwards Richard’s life starts to take an interesting turn: he has never had any other friends except Fiona the chicken.
This is a stunning film, and I really must say that Joe Stephenson has handled a difficult subject with all the respect that it deserves.
As part of Refugee Week, this week’s Discover Tuesday film will be preceded by a short film starring Jack O’Connell and Holliday Grainger, and supported by the UN Refugee Agency.
As thousands of men, women and children attempt to get into Europe, HOME follows a comfortable English family who experience a life-changing journey of their own
Times+ members can discover stunning cinema by visiting www.ourscreen.com/discover
Every day MUBI’s in-house experts hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have 30 days to watch it. £5.99 a month with the first month free for Picturehouse customers. mubi.com/picturehouse