Skeletons

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(2010) ★★★

BBC2: Sunday 4 October, 12.40am

Like bureaucratic versions of Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice, odd couple Ed Gaughan and Andrew Buckley are extraction practitioners. They help people cope with their past by exhuming secrets – the skeletons everyone has in their cupboards. “Simple, this job,” says Gaughan, the short, sharp one. “Stick to the rules, tell ’em everything, leave and never come back.”

Buckley is the big soft one who empathises with the clients. Jason Isaacs is their weirdly abusive boss, who has big plans for the procedure. Dressed in ill-fitting Laurel and Hardy suits, they traipse across a strangely timeless Peak District, like Polanski’s Two Men and a Wardrobe, further burdened by their ramshackle psychic gifts.

Nick Whitfield’s eccentric comedy picked up the Michael Powell award for best new British feature at the 2010 Edinburgh film festival. It’s not killingly funny and becomes increasingly wispy and sentimental, although the excellent Gaughan and Buckley remain enimently watchable right up to the end.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 94min

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