My latest indie watch is Little Glory starring Cameron Bright (Twilight Saga), Hannah Murray (Game of Thrones) and young Isabella Blake-Thomas.
Bright (Shawn) and Blake-Thomas (Julie) play siblings living with a widowed, abusive, alcoholic father. When he suddenly dies, Shawn is sure he can raise Julie on her own, counting on his father's life insurance policy. Their Aunt Monica is just as sure that Shawn can't raise Julie and sues for custody.
Of course, the viewer wants Shawn to step up and take charge. But despite his proclamations that he can do it, he falls short over and over again. And the viewer despairs - and begins to despise Shawn for his selfishness and the hurt that he causes to Julie. And he does some pretty crappy stuff. Bright plays the part well - he's absolutely believable as a swaggering young punk. (There's a wee bit of an Elvis-like smolder in the eyes, don't you think?) Blake-Thomas was really good as Julie - she gives a strong performance as a kid used to navigating the moods of her male relatives, but needing and craving more from life. The one role I had trouble embracing was that of Jessica, Shawn's girlfriend. I found their initial meeting oddly awkward and unconvincing. Her attempts to be enigmatic just seemed stilted and somewhat foolish. I never really bought into their relationship. The supporting cast of Shawn's friends were perfectly played - vulgar, rude, arrogant and one of them is downright dangerous.
Balancing the ugly out are some poignant moments as both siblings grieve for their mother. And there are bright spots as Shawn does step out of his immature, self-absorbed state and interacts positively with Julie - and you hope that it sticks......
Little Glory is another take on 'coming of age' from writers John Engel and François Verjans and Director Vincent Lannoo. I had thought things would play out as I expected, but a nice little twist was thrown in at the end.
The movie is set in a worn out working class neighborhood and is shot in somewhat sepia tones in the beginning, echoing the tiredness of it all. The soundtrack was quite good. Take note that this film is unrated - there are a few disturbing scenes.
Have a sneak peek at the trailer below. And if you think you'd like to watch Little Glory, I have a copy to giveaway courtesy of Lightyear Entertainment. Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Open to US, Canada and International. Ends Sept. 26/15.