Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cemetery Junction: Movie Review

Ricky Gervais comes of filmmaking age with "Cemetery Junction".

Cemetery Junction is one of those poor, small British towns, where the men go to work in factories and the women try to keep their kids out of jail. Freddy (Christian Cooke) wants something different; he wants to wear a suit to work, drive a Rolls Royce home to a beautiful wife and kids in a big house. He thinks this is a more noble life to live, and at least he's doing something about it.   2010

Directed by: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

Screenplay by: Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

Starring: Christian Cooke, Felicity Jones

I'm presuming this is a personal project for Ricky Gervais. The honesty and sheer accuracy of the time shine throughout the film. "Cemetery Junction" is a slice-of-life for young men growing up in poor suburbs in the 1970s. Freddy wants to get a job, his friends just want to get out. As they strive for what is supposed to be a better life, they realize the dark truths within everybody else in the town and what awaits them in their future.

"Cemetery Junction" is not the laugh-out-loud, farcical comedy that we would expect from Gervais. It's a meaningful, subtle dramedy exploring young men coming of age. And here, Gervais himself has certainly come of age as a director, we know this is 1970s England, looking poor and spectacular at the same time, and highlighting some exceptional performances by the young cast of Cooke, Tom Hughes, Matthew Goode, Jack Doolan, Emily Watson and the beautifully angelic Felicity Jones.