Two for Joy (2018) ****

February 18th, 2019
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Tom Beard | Samantha Morton, Billie Piper, Daniel Mays, Badger Skelton | UK Drama | 89′

A family’s problems come to a head in Tom Beard’s chilly slice of seaside social realism that sees three kids confronting their inner demons on a caravan site. It’s a grim scenario: Samantha Morton’s Aisha is a mother dealing with the aftermath of her husband’s death and the prospect of having her children taken into care. Vi (Emilia Jones) the elder, suggests a few days holiday in their caravan where the younger, Troy (Badger Skelton), befriends another girl whose mother Lillah (Billie Piper) is also feeling pretty low. Luckily, Uncle Lias injects a cheerful note to the proceedings, but the clouds soon gather on the horizon.

Made on a shoestring budget but none the worse for it, this contemplative arthouse is a study of unalloyed misery and disorientation of the silent type – and this is what Morton does best. May and Piper provide compassionate support and the kids bring a maturity to their roles that does them proud. The English countryside in summer is bleak and dreary but delicately so: pastel seascapes, misty fields, clouds drift by in picture postcard Dorset. A small and compassionate gem MT



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