Neds

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(2010) ★★★★★

Film4: Friday 19 June, 1.10am

In a 1970s adolescence that goes way beyond awkward, Glasgow schoolboy Conor McCarron swaps classroom swottery for his big brother’s local gang culture. There’s something of the Scum-era Ray Winstone to the doughy McCarron, who movingly conveys a bright but confused youth, his young mind dulled by fear and blunted by conformity. The fine Scottish actor Peter Mullan (My Name is Joe, Tyrannosaur, and scary here as the family’s drunken bully of a father) has already directed two exceptional films in Orphans and The Magdalene Sisters, ferocious works fuelled by bitter humour and deep compassion. In the grand humanist tradition of François Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, Neds is another. They say Neds means ‘non-educated delinquents’ but it plays better as a Glaswegian take on Teds, as in teddy boys.

Certificate: 18
Duration: 119min