Dummy

"Good"

Dummy Review


An astute debut for first-time feature director Thompson, this offbeat British drama has a striking cast that remains likeable even when the story teeters out of balance.

Preteen Jack (Grant) is struggling to cope with the death of his mother, the flamboyant free-spirit Elsa (Bradley in flashbacks). Besides taking on her role in the house, he has secretly dressed a mannequin in her clothes to keep him company. Meanwhile, his 18-year-old brother Danny (Johnson) thinks he can take on the parenting roles, although he clearly expects Jack to take care of himself while he spends time on both his girlfriend (Catherwood) and his budding DJ career.

The film has a beautifully rendered flashback structure that gives us more information as it continues, letting us see deeper and deeper into these young men and their life with their mother--things a visiting social worker (Brooker) can't possibly understand. Or can she? This flicking back and forth in time is intriguing and engaging, and it's also gorgeously shot and edited to create a vivid sense of the family dynamic, even as it also makes the film feel a bit choppy.

The two young actors are extremely natural in their roles. Grant displays a genuine sense of the smart, over-keen kid who has been forced to grow up too quickly; Jack is so tenacious that he's almost a force of nature. And rising star Johnson (Angus, Thongs) really gets under the skin of Danny's teen bravado. He's a typical 18-year-old, irresponsible but not thoughtless, naturally more interested in drinking, parties and girls than the raw realities of caring for a child.

As the story progresses, the soft-focus, free-wheeling past gives way to an increasingly creepy present. Jack's insistence on building this dummy in mum's place brings out a disturbing undercurrent that's ultimately pretty wrenching.

As these boys fail to deal properly with their grief, Jack's delusion is matched by Danny's self-destruction. And when they ultimately hit the road together, the film only barely manages to hang together. Especially when the story ultimately abandons the blackly comical tone for something much more dark and serious.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 91 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 21st February 2002

Distributed by: Shoreline Entertainment

Production compaines: Dummy Productions LLC, Quadrant Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 70%
Fresh: 23 Rotten: 10

IMDB: 6.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Matthew Thompson

Producer: David Langan, Miranda Robinson, Matthew Thompson

Starring: as Steven Schoichet, as Fangora "Fanny" Gurkel, as Heidi Schoichet, as Lorena Fanchetti, as Fern Schoichet, as Lou Schoichet, as Michael Foulicker, Helen Hanft as Mrs. Gurkel

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The surprisingly thoughtful prequel trilogy comes to a powerful conclusion with this robust, dramatic thriller,...

It Comes At Night Movie Review

It Comes At Night Movie Review

This sharply original horror film not only approaches its premise from an unexpected angle, but...

Okja Movie Review

Okja Movie Review

As Tilda Swinton reteams with her Snowpiercer director, Korea's Bong Joon Ho, it's perhaps unsurprising...

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review

This may be the third reboot of this franchise in 15 years, risking audience exhaustion,...

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Despicable Me 3 Movie Review

Actually the fourth film in the series (don't forget the prequel Minions), this animated super-villain...

Advertisement
Baby Driver Movie Review

Baby Driver Movie Review

Wildly energetic and so cool it hurts, this action movie has been put together in...

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

All Eyez On Me Movie Review

There's a clear sense that this Tupac Shakur biopic is hoping to build on the...

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.