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Hector

Directed by Jake Gavin

UK, 2015

HOME, 18 December 2015

Hector

There is certainly no fool-proof method of telling whether a film is any good or not, but here is a rough and ready rule: tote up how many good actors are in it.

This one has Peter Mullan, Stephen Tomkinson and Gina McKee, none of whom are mugs. They know a good thing when they see it and, in point of fact, the film is excellent.

Peter Mullan plays Hector, a homeless man with a serious , perhaps fatal illness. He feels anyway a need to make a change to his life and to be reconciled with his family. Death is too close a presence.

It is a beautifully crafted film, nuanced and meticulous and true. The world where homeless people live, the way in which they make do and survive, the margins of the workaday – all this is closely observed. And even the minor characters are fully rounded. When you have good actors in a film, the actors around them tend to raise their game. Or are minded to.

You have to credit Jake Gavin above all for this, he wrote and directed Hector, after all. But man, is Peter Mullan a great actor. Sunset Song and now this, he’s at the top of his game at the minute.

A very fine film indeed.

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