Very dark, but very funny Scottish film
firstname.lastname@example.org | Coppell, TX United States | 07/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Orphans" is one of the best Scottish films in the last few years. More accessible than the likes of "My Name Is Joe", this film has a very dark streak of humour running through it. Dark, bitter but very very funny. Essentially the tale of three brothers dealing with the death of their mother & the organising of her funeral, it's really about how the brothers relate to each other & relate to the death of the one bond they shared. Highly reccomended."
One of the best films of the last ten years
lexo-2 | 04/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Mullan's debut film as writer/director...looks, at first sight, highly unpromising.It's about four Scottish siblings between late teens and late thirties dealing with the death of their mother. Okay, if you happen to be a fan of, say, Kieslowski, you may perk up at this point, but this is not that sort of film. Like "Three Colours: Blue", it never shies away from the pain of grieving. Unlike that film, it also has a completely berserk sense of the ridiculous. The siblings themselves are the pious elder brother Thomas, his sceptical younger brother Michael, sister Sheila who has cerebral palsy (I don't know if Rosemarie Stephenson, who plays Sheila, actually _has_ cerebral palsy - but whether she does or not, she's truly extraordinary) and hothead college-boy John. The story takes place during the night before the funeral, and the morning of the funeral itself, and it gets going in brutal style with a nasty fight in a pub. It goes on to include a plaster statue of the Virgin Mary being shattered on a church floor, a disastrous attempt to scare someone who happens to be jerking off at the time, the most malevolent bar-owner in cinema history, and a church roof being torn off in a thunderstorm."Orphans" is one of the very few films to approach the insanity and awful comedy of grief, the way that messy life insists on intruding upon your own private despair. Mullan's script is ruthlessly truthful, his direction is unfailingly inventive and daring, and the film manages to be the product of a truly unholy schtup between Robert Bresson and the Weitz brothers. The cast is uniformly excellent, with special frond-type things going to the four leads, Douglas Henshall, Gary Lewis, Stephen McCole and Rosemarie Stephenson. It also has a sort-of cameo by Billy Connolly, of all people, as an unseen, absent God. Filmmaking doesn't get much darker, funnier or wiser than this. Do yourself a favour and check it out."
Great Glasgow Experience
moviegoer | 03/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the plot line flows dark and humourous, the Glasgow experience really shines through a variety of charachters and locations visited in this film. A multi-faceted city, this movie expresses both the ridiculous and the beautiful of Glasgow. I also recommend Rat Catcher as a counterpoint to Orphans."