You Were Never Really Here

Dir: Lynne Ramsay

France / United States of America (USA) / United Kingdom (UK)


95 mins



Joaquin Phoenix, Ekaterina Samsonov, Alessandro Nivola

You Were Never Really Here is the brutal, defiantly masterful new film by uncompromising British filmmaker Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher, We Need To Talk About Kevin). It screened to triumphant acclaim (and a seven minute standing ovation) in Competition at Cannes 2017, where it won Best Screenplay for Ramsay (who adapted the film from Jonathan Ames’s 2013 novella) and Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix, who is truly astonishing as its lead.

He is Joe, a damaged Gulf War veteran and former FBI agent turned assassin for hire, who specialises in saving victims from child sex rings. When Nina (Ekaterina Samsonov), a US Senator’s daughter is kidnapped, he is tasked with taking out the perpetrators and saving her.

The set-up may sound conventional, the subject matter sensational, but with Ramsay’s bravura execution they are anything but. Concerned less with the particulars of plot or with generating traditional thriller tensions, she focuses more – aided by Thomas Townend’s remarkable imagery and Jonny Greenwood’s superlative score – on the complex psychology of her enraged protagonist. It’s a devastating portrayal of a man wrestling with years of painful repression and abuse. This is not a man for whom there is any easy hope of resolution, redemption or even meaningful vengeance, but one engaged in a cycle of violence and self-harm he cannot control. Watching the film is an invigorating reminder that underneath every seemingly clichéd narrative there is the possibility for a real human story.

It really is unmissable, a lean and rigorous 85 minute masterclass in cinema, and will undoubtedly be one of this autumn’s key dramatic releases.

Booking Information



0207 534 2712


Blu-ray / DVD Bookings


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