Red Road

Dir: Andrea Arnold

United Kingdom (UK)Denmark


113 mins


Part of: BAFTA Debuts

Kate Dickie, Tony Curran

Andrea Arnold launched her feature filmmaking career with this unremittingly tense thriller set on a Glasgow housing estate.

As with her later work in Fish Tank, Wuthering Heights and American Honey, Arnold injects an authentic story of female isolation with striking visuals that breathe vibrant life into the familiar.

Numbed by a traumatic loss, security operator Jackie (Kate Dickie) spends her days watching other people’s lives flicker across her CCTV monitors.

Her own life on hold, nothing penetrates her inertia until, electrified, she spots Clyde (Tony Curran) who has recently been released from prison. Haunted by this figure from her past, whom Jackie believes has no right to freedom, she plots her revenge on him for a crime we only fully understand in the last minutes of the film.

With one of the most strikingly audacious sex scenes in recent cinema, for once told from a female perspective, Red Road pulls off the elusive task of telling a human story which manages to simultaneously be both uncompromising and heartbreakingly sensitive, while never lapsing into sentimentality.

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