Review in Brief: Rare Beasts (2019/21)

Billie Piper’s directorial debut RARE BEASTS is one of the funniest and most profound, but also perhaps the most uncomfortable of films to watch this year. From an opening dinner date scene incorporating discussion of “gummy blowjobs”, Piper is completely unafraid to really get into what makes so many of us such awful, lonely people. Mandy (Piper) in a thirty-something single mum to a son with behavioural needs (Toby Woolf) and a propensity to choose the worst kinds of men to have relationships with. But when the latest Mr Wrong, Pete (Leo Bill) comes along, Mandy wonders if this is really as good as it gets. There are plenty of gruelingly awkward conversations and frankly cruel exchanges here but Piper clearly has a natural and distinctive flair and guides her cast including David Thewlis and Kerry Fox as her embittered parents to deliver some of the finest honed performances of their careers. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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