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Movie Review: Mister Foe

Alternate Title: Oedipal Sex

Story: This twisted mister is unlike anyone you have seen on the screen. Hallan Foe is 17. He lives much of the time in a tree house on his father's Scottish estate. He's kooky and he's spooky and he likes to watch. This quirky and often disturbing film was directed by David Mackenzie and written by Mr. Mackenzie and Ed Whitmore, based on the novel Hallam Foe, by Peter Jinks.

Hallan has retreated to the outskirts of society since his mother's death two years before. He accuses his step other of her murder. After a squirmy confrontation he flees to Edinburgh where within moments of his arrival he spies a woman who is the spitting image of his dead mother. He spies, he connives and finally gets into this woman's good graces.

None of the characters are really who they seem. They are all quirky, somewhat surprising and in other hands this film would have bottomed out quickly. But adept direction and the contagious sweetness and charm of Jamie Bell got me hooked. I will not tell you more about the plot because the surprises make the film work. Watch the trailer here: but keep in mind it is being marketed as a comedy and it is not a comedy.


Acting: Jamie Bell as Hallam Foe is as good as he was in Billy Elliot. He is sweet, smart and the camera adores him - as do I. Sophia Myles as Kate worked well for me. I believed her in what could have been an eye rolling part. Ciaran Hinds is always good. Jamie Sives as the creepy lover of Kate was terrific.Maurice Roëves as clerk Raymond was funny - but I needed subtitles to understand much of what he said. Ewen Bremner as dishwasher Andy was perfect and Claire Forlani as step mother Verity was Morticia Addams perfection.

Trivia: Jamie Bell started dancing when he was six. When he won Best Actor at the 2001 British Academy Awards (BAFTAs) for Billy Elliot not only did he beat the Best Actor Oscar winner of that year, Russell Crowe, but the other three nominees he beat out - Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas and Geoffrey Rush - had also won the Best Actor Oscar in past years. Only the second actor ever to be awarded Outstanding Performance by a Young Actor from the National Board of Review, USA. The first was fellow Brit Christian Bale in 1987 (then titled Outstanding Juvenile Performance) for Empire of the Sun (1987).

Predilection: None

Critters: Rats and a swan

Food: Lots of dirty dishes in the Hotel's kitchen. Also some meat and potatoes at Dad's estate.

Sex Spectrum: Lots of sex, naked butts and boobs.

Blatant Product Placement: Edinburgh looks mighty fine to me.

Soundtrack: Very interesting and upbeat sound track.

Opening Titles: A cute cartoon graphic.

Visual Art: Director of photography, Giles Nuttgens makes Edinburgh look sensational.

Theater Audience: Two other guys and me.

Weather: It was fine indeed in Scotland.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 2

Squirm Scale: 1

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: Mid level to high.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would probably be fine but seeing Edinburgh on the big screen will make you want to visit.

Length: 90 minutes