Sunday, May 28, 2023
HomeentertainmentMovie News'Old Oak' review: Ken Loach's thrilling chronicle of small-town culture clashes

'Old Oak' review: Ken Loach's thrilling chronicle of small-town culture clashes

British director Ken Loach has his finger on the pulse of Britain’s escalating socio-economic situation, especially when it comes to the plight of the working class. Not surprisingly, then, for his latest feature – th for the 1967 year old filmmaker , who made his first film, Poor Cow , keeps coming back 27 — He decided not only to tackle two issues at the forefront of British politics, Also solve most of the problems in Europe and the US as well.

Compassionate and sometimes a bit schematic, The Old Oak is a headliner A story torn from the movie about the arrival of Syrian refugees in a decaying blue-collar town in the north of England and the outrage it sparked among some residents who looked for a scapegoat to fix their problems. You could make pretty much the same film about the arrival of Central Americans in Texas, or the arrival of sub-Saharan Africans in France, where immigration and xenophobia are part of contemporary Western culture—even though, historically, for a century So, if not much.


Bottom line Compassionate and meaningful, albeit a bit flippant.

Cannes Film Festival(Competition)

Cast: Dave T. Na, Ebra Mari, Claire Rogerson, Trevor Fox, Chris McGlade
director: Ken Loach
Paul Rafferty
1 hour 53 minutes

What Loach adds to this scene, as he does in most of his films, is a natural intimacy that transcends the issues and brings something humanity and emotion to the dinner table. At its best, The Old Oak played those shattering notes in a live performance by non-professional actors, but didn’t push it too hard Touch your heartstrings, including several actors from the director’s latest film. After nearly 6 years behind the scenes, Loach’s approach is affirmed, telling simple stories that tackle tough and relatable themes, but in a way that feels organic to a given setting.

In this case, the setting is a shrinking working-class town outside Durham, and in the opening scene, composed of black-and-white photographs, Syrian refugees are Sent here to start a new life, aroused the anger of the locals. The newcomers include Yara (Elba Mari), who, unlike the other women, speaks fluent English and doesn’t wear a hijab. She’s also an aspiring photographer – the opening shot is hers – and when an irate townsman breaks her camera, local pub owner TJ (Dave Turner, two-time Palme d’Or winner me, Daniel Blake and Sorry we missed you), go in and help her.

Much of The Old Oak – this is TJ’s name shabby pub – The story follows a burgeoning friendship between young scrappy Yara and TJ, as Yara tries to make a new life for herself in a strange land, and TJ, an aging local who gives up hope in a place on the brink of collapse. The contrast is a bit simplistic, and there are too many scenes of Yara or TJ giving short speeches about their plight – Loach is better off showing than telling, letting the situation speak for itself.

But the intensity of the setup here is undeniable, especially when TJ decides to reopen the back room of his bar to provide free meals to Syrians and locals In dire straits. As we’ve been told multiple times, the idea was inspired by meals served to striking workers and their families during social unrest in the past, when everyone in town lived near the mine. Long gone are the days of those collective actions that resulted in a group of white working-class regulars rejecting TJ’s plans out of racism and self-defeating patriotism.

The biases in the pubgoers can feel a bit overwrought, and even though they might reflect reality, the ones between TJ and Yara can be pretty touching too. Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment in The Old Oak is when Yara and her mother showed up to comfort him with a homemade Syrian meal. The way Turner played that scene, sitting at the table like a broken man, brought tears to my eyes, which is unique at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

With screenwriter Paul Laverty, since Carla’s Song

, who has been the director’s trusted scribe since, Rocky passed slowly The Burning narrative builds to such an emotional high, the narrative that sets up all the conflicts and then lets them unfold as naturally as possible. The director used a lowercase “d” as if he was capturing something that happened in real life, cinematographer Robbie Ryan (American Honey) added To add a touch of warmth and color to a drab town setting.

Aside from the eating scene – there are a few of these meals in a movie where communal meals are a sign of political solidarity – another one that caught me was when Yara and TJ went together to pick up the food distribution at nearby Durham Cathedral. Aside from a few unnecessary speeches that took place there, Loach simply showed the young refugee discovering the beauty of British landmarks for the first time, standing for a moment admiring the choir practice. Mari makes her screen debut, shines in this sequence (as she does in many others), and for a movie centered on a major culture clash, The Old Oak Still hopeful about the vision of how culture can bring us together.

Full credits

Venue: Cannes Film Festival (Competition)
Production companies: Sixteen Films, Why Not Productions, Goodfellas, BFI, BBC Film, Les Films Pictures du Fleuve, France 2 Cinéma, Canal +, France Télévisions, Le Pacte, Cinéart, Ciné + VOO, Be tv, Casa Kafka

Cast: Dave Turner, Ebra Marie, Claire Rogerson, Trevor Fox, Chris McGregor De, Coltett, Jordan Lewis
Director: Ken Loach

Screenwriter: Paul Laverty

Producer: Rebecca O’ Brien Executive Producers: Pascal Caucheteux, Grégoire Sorlat , Vincent Maraval

Director of Photography: Robbie Ryan

Production Designer: Fergus Clegg
Costume Design: Joanne Slater Editor: Jonathan ·Morris
Composer: George Fenton

Casting Director: Kahleen Crawford
Sales: Good Guys
1 hour 53 minutes

1235483548 THR Newsletter 1211221

Sign up for THR news daily directly to your inbox Outbox

893348 SUBSCRIBE Sign up



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Featured NEWS