Joe is an unemployed recovering alcoholic in Glasgow who starts to fall for Sarah (Louise Goodall), a middle class health worker. It’s a relationship that appears doomed from the start, given their differing circumstances.
Loach’s view of incomprehension across the class divide could come across as pessimistic, yet it’s a beautifully observed character study that is resonant and honest. It’s enlivened by dashes of humour and an engaging, career-defining performance from Peter Mullan which won him an acting award at the Cannes Film Festival and won acclaim from Martin Scorsese, among many others.
This film is screening as part of our Ken Loach retrospective (May & June). Loach’s latest film, Jimmy’s Hall, opens at the IFI on May 30th.