My Brothers

My Brothers


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

As full-length directorial debuts go, My Brothers - from Somers Town scribe Paul Fraser and first-time screenplay writer William Collins - is a charmer. I first caught it at Tribeca 2010 and was surprised when it took more than a year to make its way to Edinburgh Festival. What also surprised me, however, was how much of the film and its emotional resonance had stuck with me down the months. It may be a little rough around the edges but there is plenty here to commend.

Set in the late Eighties, it is a story of sibling battles and bonding. Noel (Timmy Creed) is the eldest of three sons who are living in the shadow of their father's slide towards death due to cancer. Struggling to come to terms with it, Noel takes his father's watch - a cheap Casio won from a 'grabber' machine at a seaside arcade that has become dad's pride and joy. When the watch gets broken Noel embarks on a road trip with brothers Paudie (Paul Courtney) and Scwally (TJ Griffin) to try to win a replacement.

Copy picture

Of course, this being a road trip, things inevitably don't go to plan, which provides a backdrop against which the brothers pull apart and together in the shadow of the upcomingn death that hangs over them.

The film is at its strongest in the dialogue between the brothers. Collins has an excellent grasp of the minutae of childhood relationships and rarely strikes a false note, finding plenty of humour in the swings and roundabouts of family relationships. There are signs of inexperience, however. The scoring is intrusive and, frequently, unecessary and one or two of the incidents on the road feel like overkill - particularly a scene of 'peril', which is so unlikely that it sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise winningly naturalistic narrative.

Still, with great performances from the young leads, a good rendering of the Eighties and emotions you can buy into, it hints at more and better to come from all concerned.

Reviewed on: 02 Jul 2011
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Three brothers go on an unpredictable road trip to replace their dying dad's watch.
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Director: Paul Fraser

Writer: William Collins

Starring: Timmy Creed, Paul Courtney, TJ Griffin, Kate Ashfield, Don Wycherley, Sarah Greene, Terry McMahon, Eamonn Hunt, Siobhan Palmer

Year: 2010

Runtime: 90 minutes

Country: Ireland


Tribeca 2010
EIFF 2011

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Somers Town