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THERE'S ONLY ONE JIMMY GRIMBLE

SYNOPSIS:
Jimmy Grimble (Lewsi McKenzie) is the 15 year old son of single mum Donna (Gina McKee), a Manchester boy with a pro football (that’s soccer, in case you’re code-challenged) career as his ambition. Nobody, least of all Jimmy, thinks he’s got what it takes. Mercilessly bullied at school by soccer talented boys like Gordon Burley (Bobby Power), Jimmy and his mum live in fear of life itself, she having broken up with nice-guy Harry (Ray Winstone). With a broken coach (Robert Carlyle) and a broken home, Jimmy latches onto anything going, including a pair of soccer boots given to him by a homeless old woman (Jane Lapotaire). Whether these boots have some magic qualities, having belonged to a star soccer player, or whether that’s just an old woman’s tale – Jimmy has to discover for himself.

A poor man’s Billy Elliot (released in the UK before that film), Jimmy Grimble has all the elements going for it, from a terrific cast to a workable premise. But it doesn’t quite deliver the satisfaction it should. For one thing, the cast is full of great talent but doesn’t match internally; we don’t buy Gina McKee and Ray Winstone as lovers, nor McKee and McKenzie as mum and son, nor even Robert Carlyle as the washed up soccer player turned school coach. Worse still, McKee’s dalliance with a leathered bikie wanker (Ben Miller) is given too much space, considering it is so unimaginable. The film’s familiar structure is given no freshness and the issues are laid on far too heavily to let us work anything out for ourselves. And of course the down beat Manchester setting – while veracity-driven – only adds to the depressive monotone of the film. But the weakest aspect is the lack of credible characterisations, for which both the script and the direction are responsible. I wish I could like this more. Others at the preview did.
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

THERE'S ONLY ONE JIMMY GRIMBLE (M)
(UK)

CAST: Lewis McKenzie, Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone, Gina McKee

DIRECTOR: John Hay

PRODUCER: Jeremy Bolt, Alison Jackson, Sarah Radclyffe

SCRIPT: Rik Carmichael, John Hay, Simon Mayle

CINEMATOGRAPHER: John de Borman

EDITOR: Oral Norrie Ottey

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Michael Carlin

MUSIC: Simon Boswell, Alex James

RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sharmill Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 29, 2001 (Sydney & Melbourne only







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