A Way of Life (2004)
Critic Reviews for A Way of Life
Grim but enormously confident feature debut unblinkingly anatomises life among working class Welsh no-hopers.
Broadly its a tale of racism and poverty, but it's certainly not something to sit down and enjoy over some tea and crumpets.
Audience Reviews for A Way of Life
Gritty, harrowing drama with a strong script and a terrific central performance by newcomer Stephanie James.
Directed by: Amma Asante. Starring: Stephanie James, Brenda Blethyn, Michael Conway, Marged Esli. A movie, that has won over 14 awards since its release in 2004 at many international festivals yet it isn't widely known by many at all.....it deserves to be. From first time director and writer Amma Asante, the story follows a group of teenagers growing up in a dead-end community in Wales. Each one has there own story, we have Leigh-Ann, who is a teenage mother, struggling to make a living for her child, while also being frustrated and humiliated by her community, feeling that her social worker is going to take her baby away, Robbie, who loves his heritage and wants to get out of where he lives...and hates the fact that all the 'pakkies' are getting the attention and the work, Gavin, who is desperately looking for love and Stephen, who hates his heritage and is trying to search for an identity. The screenplay by Amma is brilliantly written, showing us the realistic truth of life in many communities like this one, the struggles that these teenagers face, there attitudes, the racism and stereotyping of others, it is at times quite disturbing and powerful. Stephanie James, a very new actress on the scene is absolutely outstanding, tackling a very difficult role of a troubled teen, the role requires great control, range and intensity to make it believable and Stephanie does it brilliantly, someone to look out for in the future. I highly recommend you see this little gem of a film if you ever see it in your video store, it is not widely known by audiences yet it won so many awards at international film festivals and it deserves every one of them....an excellent film debut that tackles many elements of a community that you can find anywhere in the world, it is realistic, truthful and at times, powerful.
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