Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

With an opening title that seems to owe a debt to Nicolas Winding Refn's meditation on internal combustion, Doughnuts is similarly a play on car words.

Baz lives at home with his mum, and his wife. Baz works in a supermarket. Baz knows he's lucky enough, lavishes care and attention on the love of his life. Not mum, not Roxy, his pregnant spouse, no; his gorgeous BMW, a vision in pristine metal-flake slate-grey with yellow racing stripe, pin-stripe, aftermarket spoiler, alloys, all burbling and cooing even before key turns in ignition.

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Call it "coming of middle-age", but Baz has got some growing up to do. He's played by Aheel Akhtar, whom Coming Up fans will recognise form 2011's Hooked, Channel 4 viewers should recognise as Wilson Wilson from graphic conspiracy tale Utipia earlier this year, and filmgoers shold recall from Four Lions. He's great. I don't know if I've been lucky or he's got a great agent but everything I've seen him in is great, and his performances have certainly helped make that the case.

Coming Up takes writers and directors early in their career and lets them loose with Channel 4's film-making toolkit. Composer Dan Parry provides yet another good score, but for all the technical quality brought by Coming Up it's about showcasing other talent - in this case scriptwriter by Ishy Din and directed by Simon Neal.

Anjli Mohindra is good as Baz's long suffering wife, but for all that she's totally convincing in the aftermath of finding yet more "car porn", credit has to go to Din and Neal for the language and framing of a strangely damp confrontation. It feels real - Akhtar's great, he's got good chemistry with Wahab Sheikh as his slacker mate Sully, but the real horrors here aren't akin to those of Monsters Inc.

No, this is the terror of growing up properly; of giving up car magazines, of being responsible, of taking your place at the table and doing what you're meant to, of trading in a sweet ride for a shitbox burgundy dadmobile. This is an excellent film, it steers a confident course with power behind it. Like the (other kind of) titular doughnuts it's sweet and satisfying. Due to the usual late scheduling of Coming Up it might also go well with a coffee but it's no less a treat for that.

Reviewed on: 23 Jul 2013
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A marriage comes under strain due a pregnancy and the presence of a rival - a shiny new BMW.

Director: Simon Neal

Writer: Ishy Din

Starring: Aheel Akhtar, Anjli Mohindra, Wahab Sheikh

Year: 2013

Runtime: 15 minutes

Country: UK


EIFF 2013

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