The Kid

"Good"

The Kid Review


Based on a true story, this gripping film features solid acting and a strong visual sensibility. And even though the plot meanders, it's an important story of someone who survived a severe failure in the British child welfare system.

Kevin Lewis (Miller, Prew, then Friend) was born in South London into a violent home in which his sharp wit sparks extra physical abuse from his mother (McElhone), while his drunken father (O'Neill) either watches helplessly or is bullied into taking part. But along the way Kevin finds compassion from a care home manager (Hill), an alert teacher (Gruffudd), a compassionate foster father (Fox) and a supportive girlfriend (Whittaker). But all of this could be undone by his dodgy business decisions.

The film's main flaw is the fact that the protagonist wrote the script. It's not badly written, but Lewis keeps too many incidents in here, leaving the film feeling episodic and repetitive, with the result that it's not easy for us to engage with Kevin or feel the emotional force of his situation. With a bit of dramatic licence, events and characters could have been combined to make the same points with much more dramatic force.

One result of this approach is that Friend's performance feels oddly cold (Miller and Prew are more effective because they play the character at more vulnerable ages), while everyone else is rather blankly good or bad. So it's system itself that makes us react, as Kevin's life goes through chapters of abuse, deprivation, false hopes and broken promises. Watching him fall through the cracks is harrowing, even when he causes his own downfall. But the ups and downs begin to drag badly, and the conclusion feels tidy and cute.

Even with these problems, Moran adeptly creates a vivid visual sense of the time that beautifully echoes the dramatic storyline. The scenes with McElhone are absolutely terrifying; even though her performance is a little over-the-top, the filmmaking puts us right into her line of fire. Combining this kind of harshness with engaging warmth is no mean feat. It makes us look forward to what Moran does next, especially if he develops the confidence to take more control of the narrative.



The Kid

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 68 mins

In Theaters: Sunday 6th February 1921

Box Office Worldwide: $2.5M

Distributed by: First National Pictures Inc.

Production compaines: Charles Chaplin Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 21

IMDB: 8.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Judith Hunt

Starring: as A Tramp, as The Kid, as Mother, Albert Austin as Man in shelter, Beulah Bains as Bride, as The Man, Henry Bergman as Night shelter keeper, Kitty Bradbury as Bride's mother, Nellie Bly Baker as Slum nurse, F. Blinn as His assistant, Frances Cochran as Extra in reception scene, Frank Campeau as Welfare officer, Bliss Chevalier as Extra in wedding scene, Elsie Codd as Extra in alley scene, Jack Coogan Sr. as Pickpocket / Guest / Devil, Estelle Cook as Extra in wedding scene, Dan Dillon as Bum, Philip D'Oench as Extra in wedding scene, Lillian Crane as Extra in wedding scene, Robert Dunbar as Bridegroom

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

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.