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Hallam Foe (Mister Foe) Reviews

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hunterjt13
hunterjt13

Super Reviewer

January 13, 2013
A teenage stalker with enough Oedipal issues to make Freud puke in his soup pursues his boss, a sweet but disturbed hotel manager.
What this film lacks most is focus. At the beginning the plot tends toward a thriller/mystery vis-a-vis the possible murder of Hallam's mother, but the most unbelievable circumstances (fucking his step-mother in his tree house) push Hallam to Edinburgh where we meet Sophia Myles's character, Kate. Myles is a beautiful actress, and as Kate she walks with confidence and wherewithal. With hobbies, a fine job, a sense of compassion, and a sociable disposition, Kate seems like she has it all together. Yes, she's fucking her married boss, and yes, she does say, "I like creepy guys," but when Hallam's stalking, amateur spy behavior is revealed, her reaction defies all believability. I can imagine the film becoming a believable story about lost people who find each other and accept each other's fucked-up-ness, but with Myles as Kate and the dead mother plot stopping by every now and then as though it's checking up on how the film is progressing, the film becomes a muddled mess that has its sexy, alluring moments but ultimately sinks into a depravity that we can't follow without suspending every disbelieving bone in our bodies.
Overall, bad casting and worse writing keep this film from being anything worth watching.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

June 17, 2011
Awkward and engrossing movie that overcomes its unlikable lead by making him confused and relatable. It's a very difficult performance Bell has to pull off in this movie. He must present himself as a mentally fractured peeping tom whilst all the while leading us along a romantic path. The performances and characterizations are key here. Forlani isn't exactly the evil stepmother from many movies, but she is able to carry a certain stench of menace. Paired with Bell's confusion and creepiness, it adds up to more of an emotional mystery than a murder one. In many ways it's a wonderful coming of age tale, that delicately approaches the mind of a teenager. It bridges the gaps between anger, madness, and danger. At times it tries to be a bit too hip, with it's constant twangy soundtrack, but at least it works nicely with the dull but mesmerizing cinematography.
Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

October 25, 2010
This unusual film was a fantastic journey with the awkward lead character, Hallem Foe, as he pursued his voyeuristic impulses. No spoiler here. The acting was convincing despite the fantastic episodes. Cleverly crafted to form an intense yet warm & funny original work.
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

October 28, 2009
"Who is Hallam Foe?"

Hallam's talent for spying on people reveals his darkest fears-and his most peculiar desires. Driven to expose the true cause of his mother's death, he instead finds himself searching the rooftops of the city for love.

REVIEW
Hallam Foe is another dark film about buried pain and insecurities, much like director David Mackenzie's Young Adam. Mackenzie is also responsible for the crackling screenplay adapted from the novel by Peter Jinks, the story of a young lad named Hallam (Jamie Bell) damaged by his mother's death to the point where he separates himself from the world by living in a tree house, observing his father (Ciarán Hinds) in his too rapid replacement of Hallam's mother with the dangerous Verity (Claire Forlani). A bizarre 17-year-old, Hallam attacks his fears and the world dressed in a manner of beast like costumes, all to assuage his grief for his mother's death. When Verity's behavior drives Hallam from his elegant home, he retreats to Edinburgh, becoming a boy of the streets. One day he spies a woman named Kate (Sophia Myles) who greatly resembles his dead mother and he begins stalking her, spying on her in every conceivable way until he convinces her to hire him in her hotel as a kitchen porter. Proximity feeds obsession and Hallam discovers that Kate is having an affair with a married hotel executive, the result of which is a clash with reality, and Hallam must confront his Oedipal desires with his coming to grips with the reality of his grief for this deceased mother. The discovery he makes with Kate transfers to his relationship with his own family and opens doors for growth rather than maintaining his jail- like mental anguish.

The story is bizarre and very dark at times, but the performance by Jamie Bell, well accompanied by those of Hinds, Forlani, Myles et al, make this tale of coming of age fascinating. The art direction (Caroline Grebbell), cinematography (Giles Nuttgens) and musical score (as concocted by Matt Biffa from performers such as Future Pilot A.K.A.) enhance the production - maintaining the high standards set by Mackenzie. Hallam is a lad we grow to love despite his kooky behavior: few other actors could inhabit this role with the élan of the considerably talented Jamie Bell. Recommended.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

November 4, 2007
The story of a teenage peeping tom, dealing with his mother's death, his dad's new wife and then coping with a new life in Edinburgh while meeting a young woman that reminds him of his late mother. While the main character's problems (and the acting) are believable his stalking tendencies make him a rather ambivalent hero. Thankfully, the drama is regularly met with humor and rather interesting turn of events. That's not horribly exciting but entertaining to watch, especially because things always keep moving and the solution is rather satisfying. Franz Ferdinand put together the soundtrack, by the way.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 17, 2009
This is a great British film! I was disappointed with David Mackenzie's Young Adam and so wasn't expecting much from this, but it turned out to be my favourite cinema experience of 2007 along with Pan's labyrinth! Jamie Bell is brilliant in the lead role.
Ross C

Super Reviewer

August 7, 2007
The best British drama I've seen in years, made even better by Cameo "special effects". Some unique views of Edinburgh, but too much spitting for my liking!
Mark A

Super Reviewer

November 27, 2008
A despiccable young man is convinced his stepmother killed his mother and then acts out in bizarre ways to compensate for his anger and grief. A beautiful soundtrack, the luminescent Sophia Myles, masterful camera work, and a finely honed screenplay saved this from two-star purgatory. It was the characters and the story that proved difficult. This viewer found it very uncomfortable viewing and thought that Hallam (Jamie Bell) was just a little too twisted for redemption. My fears were very nearly realized. That his father never leveled with his son until it was nearly too late contributed to the young man's downward spiral. At least the film ended on a hopeful note, although a good deal of damage was inflicted in the interim. Conclusions built on a foundation of lies and misunderstanding make for a very shaky edifice and great injury can result.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2008
[font=Century Gothic]In "Mister Foe," 17-year old Hallam Foe(Jamie Bell) spends most of his time in his treehouse, spying on people, since his mother's suicide. His father's(Ciaran Hinds) marriage to Verity(Claire Forlani) has not helped even though she is trying to be helpful by trying to get a job for Hallam in London. In the meantime, Hallam's sister, Lucy(Lucy Holt), decamps for Australia. He is further shaken by the vandalization of his treehouse and visit from his evil stepmother that results in his throttling her, followed by them having sex.(Yes, it's consensual but still wrong and icky.) Soon after, he leaves for Edinburgh where he is lost until he spies Kate(Sophia Myles), a dead ringer for his dead mother...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Beneath a gothic facade, "Mister Foe" is an offbeat coming of age movie. A clear sign of maturing is when one moves on from a simplistic black and white worldview, and begins to look at the world as a more complicated organism.(Hallam simply worships his mother while not realizing there was anything seriously wrong with her that would cause her to kill herself. He also does not think anybody is worthy of replacing her but it was only inevitable.) Only by coming into contact and interacting with other people on a daily basis, do we grow as people. And even though a voyeur may not want to harm anyone, it is still an invasion of privacy. But the voyeur is himself hurt because he does not interact with the world, just watches it go by and does not learn anything. [/font]
Todd S

Super Reviewer

August 19, 2007
Maybe I just wasn't intelligent enough to get this movie, but to me, Mister Foe was just weird and twisted. Jamie Bell (who I'll always associate with Billy Elliott) was phenomenal as Hallam Foe, a seventeen year old voyeur, whose mother had recently committed suicide. Unable to cope, Hallam leaves for the big city, where he finds a woman who looks eerily similar to his mother and Hallam starts spying on her. I get that this film was supposed to be coming of age, sophisticated, and meaningful, but honestly, I just found it creepy. The film was choppy, extremely slow, and just when you thought something was going to happen, it doesn't. In Mister Foe, Jamie Bell really does show just how good an actor he has become. Aside from that, this movie is just weird.
Yinalí R

Super Reviewer

April 4, 2010
An interesting story about a young man, who's mother's death has brought him to a psychological breakdown, developing strange habits which involve spying on people he doesn't like to have contact with, while blaming his stepmother.

Mister Foe has everything a dark and erotic story should have. Drama, intense confrontations, sex, powerful performances and more. Even though it's a deep and strange story, you can see Bell's character going through an emotional and difficult period in his life. While finding himself in a beautiful single moment that can only be appreciated in a well made movie.

As for the movie in general, it was powerfully written, with the perfect soundtrack to complement the scenes. I really recommend.
William G

Super Reviewer

April 3, 2008
A bizarre fairy tale of sorts, kept just barely on this side of creepy by Jamie Bell's winning performance.
Blaster1618
Blaster1618

Super Reviewer

September 11, 2010
This movie never really catches it balance, this is one of the movies best points. It?s a simple story of Hallam Foe who?s mother passed away and his father kept aspects of his mother death from him. Claire Forlani steps up the corporate ladder into his father?s bed. Hallam Foe withdraws form interaction from other people and becomes a Voyeur. A voyeur not in the sexual sense, but in the way of feeling connected with people. The director makes some odd choices in this movie, like when Forlani blackmails Hallam with his notebook of voyaristic activities. She has intercourse with him and then tells him its time for him to leave. Its clear Forlani evil but did she Kill his mother. Driven away from home he spots a young woman that has a remarkable resemblance to his mother. She is the beautiful personnel manager of a luxury hotel. He uses hit wit and intelligence to convince her to hire him as a dishwasher. Hallan is not dull, insane or brought?up wrong he?s just trying to grow-up and catch up with the social aging he should have happened while he was brooding over his mother. The movie to its own credit tries to portray all the characters as real human being with their own trials and tribulations. Like his own mother who had her own demons. There are many narrative point in this movie that would let it sprawl out into a much wider and interesting movie however it appear edited into a very linear tale which does not serve it own interests.
Lovable M

Super Reviewer

November 17, 2008
A weird but good movie. Interesting topic creatively made.
Adam M

Super Reviewer

January 20, 2009
Absorbing drama about a young man who is convinced that his step-mother,who he also fancies, murdered his real mum, so he runs away from home and lives on the rooftops of Edinburgh, spying on people on the streets below. Hallam quickly finds a job washing up in a hotel kitchen and whilst there falls for his boss, beautiful Sophia Myles, who happens to look exactly like his birth mother. He spies on her while shes at home whilst battling with thoughts of his supposedly evil step-mum. Jamie Bell puts in a great performance as Hallam Foe and the film itself is interesting,thought provoking and well written .
mingsysar
mingsysar

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2009
Weird, unsettling, strangely compelling, but expertly acted, particularly by Bell.
iLeo
iLeo

Super Reviewer

January 10, 2008
Intriguing movie. Good story plot that follows Jamie Bell's character. A young man dealing with the upheaval of craziness, personal loss, and the discovery of love. Great cast- Bell, Ciaran Hinds, Claire Forlani, and Sophia Myles. Great music. Worth seeing.
February 9, 2008
Supremely disappointing. Not surreal enough or realistic enough to be believable in either world... stuck in flat out bad movie limbo.
GabrielKnight
April 16, 2011
A decent movie, but uneven and a bit weird at times. I think the problem is that it's based on the book and major parts of the story didn't make it into the movie.
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