Movies / Movie Reviews

Beautiful Thing (1996)


By Hervé St-Louis
February 26, 2022 - 23:03

Jamie (Glen Berry) lives with his single mom and her younger boyfriend in London’s East end projects. Next door neighbour Ste (Scott Neal – a dead giveaway for Tom Holland) lives with his older brother and his alcoholic father. They are working class boys who think that they are ugly. Bullied and abused, the are drawn together, discovering their queerness. Can they make it work or will their world destroy their relationship?

Beautiful Thing is a classic British film that gained traction for its coming out story and representation of the brilliant working class Eastend of London. Jamie’s mother, actress Linda Henry shines as Sandra, a barmaid trying to make ends meet, and raising her son. She is plagued by doubts about being a good mom and seems overprotective of her son. The great performance as the neighbourhood eccentric dropout, Leah. Leah is obsessed with singer Mama Cass and threatens to out the lads, as she discovers their secret romance.

The film integrated several songs sang by Mama Cass in its soundtrack at pivotal moments of the lads’ lives. The cinematography is not great, but the film was watchable and the transfer to DVD was acceptable. It’s a very good drama / slice of life that captures a unique moment in British culture where homosexuality was on the verge of being accepted and common place in Western society. Don’t expect a profound message from this film. It’s the lives of two lads which seem to be typical and almost hopeless. It’s still worth watching, despite the heavy local accent. The movie was adapted from a play with the same title.

Rating: 8 /10

Last Updated: June 28, 2022 - 08:37

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