Hallam Foe (Mister Foe) Reviews
Like having shit rubbed onto your loved ones by an annoying person who can't speak properly.
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.
Jamie Bell gives a fantastic performance in the title role, a troubled teen grieving the death of his mother, with seemingly endless Oedipal feelings towards her and any substitute for her he can find. He is a loner who sleeps in his tree house, and is a peeping tom on just about everyone, including his own Father and step-mother.
In a sort of twisted fairytale he flees to Edinburgh where he scurries over rooftops, camps into lofty bell-towers and scuttles through the subterranean passages of a hotel kitchen, all the while observing/stalking a woman he thinks looks like his beloved mother. Edinburgh looks fantastically gothic in all this too.
Hallam Foe is creepy, yet desperately damaged and vulnerable. He can turn on the charm when he wants to, and Jamie Bell carries the film terrifically. Sophia Myles is also very good as the object of his desires, and there are nice cameos from Ewen Bremner and Maurice Roeves as his guides and mentors in the hotel staff.
The subject matter may be macabre, but there's humour throughout as well as genuine pathos, intimacy and at least some redemption. Recommended.
High notes -
Dr - David Mackenzie
Ac - Jamie Bell
Kate Breck: Sometimes I want sweet. Sometimes I want sour. Sometimes I don't know what I want. My shit stinks. I'm going to die one day.
Oldest Kitchen Porter: I killed a man once. Smashed his skull on a pier. Just so ya know.
Hallam Foe: Look, you're very attractive but I'm very politically committed to the gay cause.