Indie Gems: Sweet Sixteen

Hope you like cursing.

Liam (Martin Compston) is a 15 year old boy from a rough part of town. His mother (Michelle Coulter) is in prison because she took the fall for her asshole boyfriend, Stan. (Gary McCormack) Liam lives with his sister Chantelle (Annmarie Fulton) who isn't nearly as forgiving to their mother. He wants to buy a place for he and his mother when she gets out so that she can get away from Stan, unfortunately Liam's upbringing pretty much ensures that any means of cash flow won't be legal.

This film feels very authentic, and that's partly why I brought up the cursing. There's a lot of swearing in this movie. Almost every other word coming out of someone's mouth at any given time has a swear word in it. Yet, it worked and it wasn't distracting. (Think Rob Zombie's movies, for example, and how ridiculous all of the dialogue sounds) These actors could all be randoms found on the streets of Scotland for all we know, they feel honest and true.

Compston is magnificent. He fits the role of Liam so well and really delivers a stellar performance. He carries the film. Sure, some of it is pretty standard. Asshole boyfriend, stupid mother, etc, but it worked as a whole.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "If not Stan, then someone else, and someone else, and someone else." - Chantelle (Annmarie Fulton)


  1. This is a film that missed my big list. Yet, I think it's one of the finest films I had ever seen as I'm surprised that it was made by Ken Loach of all people. Then again, this is the same guy who did Kes so it shouldn't have been a surprise.

    1. The only other work of his I was familiar with was The Wind That Shakes The Barley, and I couldn't even finish it. It just bored me. He showed a lot of promise here though.

    2. I think this film is a more accessible feature than The Wind That Shakes the Barley but the one to watch is Kes. Another film of his that I like is Looking for Eric which I think is a fun and enjoyable film.

    3. I'll have to check out both of those. Thanks!

  2. So glad you liked it! Compston blew me away. I'll second the Kes recommendation, but I'd rank The Wind That Shakes the Barley beneath the other two.

    1. I'm definitely going to check out Kes after you both suggested it.


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