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Film review: Perfect 10

PUBLISHED: 09:37 30 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:37 30 July 2020

Stills from the film Perfect Ten

Stills from the film Perfect Ten

Archant

Eva Riley’s tale of a lonely teen in a seaside town is sensual and sensitive with a touching central performance by Frankie Box

Stills from the film Perfect TenStills from the film Perfect Ten

Teenager Leigh (Box) has precious little going for her. At her gymnastics club, the other girls look down on her.

She more or less lives on her own and has to go round to see her father at the house he shares with another woman. So lost for guidance and companionship is she that when Joe (Duggan), a petty thief and scooter hoodlum, appears on the doorstep and announces that he’s her brother and dad said he could stay, she welcomes it as a step in the right direction.

Filming in the suburbs and seafront during another of those endless English summers that only exist on film, Riley’s debut feature uses lots of close ups to achieve a kind of sensual aimlessness, which captures a reality that doesn’t connect with the people in it.

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Initially, the film may seem like another dreary stir of the Fish Tank, the British conveyor belt of kitchen sink estate dramas, but there’s an unexpected sensitivity to it.

Thanks in no small part to Box’s painfully real performance, this is an expression of teenage uncertainty that is genuinely touching.

3/5 stars

Starring Frankie Box, Alfie Duggan, Sharlene Whyte and Billy Mogford.

In cinemas and on-demand. Running time: 83 mins.


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