Aidan Gillen-starring UK film where character and performance take priority
Treacle Jr is a little gem of British independent filmmaking told with the lowest of budgets and the best of intentions. Director Jamie Thraves’ third feature returns him to his independent root that means a film where character and performance take priority. The result is a gently beguiling salute to an unlikely friendship and the power of positive thinking.
Thraves has remained close friends with actor Aidan Gillen (The Wire, Queer as Folk) since their collaboration on The Low Down a decade ago. Casting Gillen against type as an endearing, garrulous eccentric lends the film a good deal of its energy and warmth.
Tom (Tom Fisher) walks out on his wife and baby and destroys any ties to his previous life. The perils of sleeping rough lead to accident and emergency where he is befriended by the relentlessly cheery Aidan (Gillen), who provides him with a temporary home and introduces him to his bullying girlfriend Linda (Riann Steele).
Treacle Jr works because the characters feel real and rounded, complete with foibles and failings that make them all the more human. Aidan is a sparky mixture of the optimistic and the annoying but by the end of the film he will have won even the hardest heart.
General release from Fri 15 Jul.