DVD Ratcatcher [DVD] [Criterion Collection] (DVD 39913),
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Ratcatcher [DVD] [Criterion Collection]

  • NR
  • DVD
  • 1 disc
  • Region 1 USA/CA (info)
  • Lynne Ramsey's bleak, beautifully photographed debut unflinchingly portrays life in a Glasgow housing project during the 1973 garbageworkers strike as seen through the eyes of 12-year-old James Gillespie (William Eadie, in a soulful debut). As the film opens, James is playing with a friend near a filthy canal behind the projects when his friend tragically falls into the water and drowns. James chooses not to tell anyone that he saw the boy die, knowing that he will be implicated. This secret, along with his increasing lack of communication with his drunken football-loving father, causes James to become increasingly withdrawn, fantasizing about his family moving to a newly constructed apartment complex at the city limits on the edge of a beautiful, golden field of grain. As the garbage piles up and rats take up residency around the complex as if they were new tenants, James finds temporary solace in his friendships with Kenny, an odd boy who loves animals, and Margaret Anne, a teenage misfit who lets the local boys use her body as they wish.

    While undeniably grim, RATCATCHER manages to combine unusually rich imagery and spare use of dialogue to create a realistic portrait of a simultaneously beautiful and cruel world. Punctuated with unexpected humor, Ramsey's film is subtle and rewarding.
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  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): RAT020

  • Credits
    William Eadie, Tommy Flanagan, Mandy Matthews
  • Critic Reviews
    "...A gorgeous blend of beauty and squalor, packed with imagery that will play over and over in your head for weeks....The most lovely debut in a long time."
    New York Times

    "...Spare and harrowing..."
    Box Office

    "...RATCATCHER is clearly the work of a natural film artist, and experiencing her debut is as much a privilege as it is a pleasure..."
    Los Angeles Times

    "...Ramsay creates a searing portrait of a boy in a spiritual trap. Pay particular attention to Rachel Portman's spare music score that in counterpoint offsets Ramsay's imagery with a presence that does not simply massage our mood..."
    Chicago Sun-Times

    "...The cast is packed with first-timers, who give wonderful, skinless performances..."
    Total Film

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