Film review by Jason Day, Helen Blaby and Win Hughes of the ‘Mods’ comedy drama movie The Pebble and the Boy (2021) starring Patrick McNamee, Sacha Parkinson and Patsy Kensit. Directed by Chris Green.
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Manchester based John’s (Patrick McNamee) Dad has just died and there is a huge outpouring of emotion from old ‘Mods’, a group John’s Dad belonged to many years ago.
On a whim John decides to take his Dad’s ashes from the North to his and the Mods’ spiritual home of Brighton, accompanied by Nicki (Sacha Parkinson) the daughter of his Dad’s best friend.
They embark on a comical odyssey of discovery that reveals John’s Dad’s secrets and how he was a more complex man John thought he was.
Review by @Reelreviewer, @blabers and @win_hughes
John…I’m your sister.Nicki (Sacha Parkinson) pulls a ‘Return of the Jedi’ joke on John (Patrick McNamee), the boy she has just slept with.
I’ve written before about how I’m enjoying movies that ‘do what they say on the tin’.
I don’t need a film to be the next Citizen Kane (1941) or Vertigo (1958), I’m just happy that it lives up the marketing blurb that indicates it’s going to be fun and enjoyable without shouting about it’s artistic credentials or how other critics have bigged it up.
Jungle Cruise (2021) is a good, recent example of this. Not a great piece of cinema – and it doesn’t claim to be – but perfect popcorn pleasure. Sometimes, that’s all you need.
Same too for this slow-to-start British comedy drama; all things considered, no great shakes but it ‘does what it says on the tin’. It made me cry a bit and it made me laugh a fair amount.
An unassuming piece it has no big thrills but a few big laughs and a genuinely affecting and emotional story about what to do when harsh secrets from your parents’ past are uncovered. Sins of the fathers stuff set to a great Mod soundtrack.
What works in its favour is the solid and enjoyable performances from a perky if not perfect cast. Particular mention must go to Parkinson for her confident turns as the ballsy, assertive Nicki.
McNamee is a complete sweetie, with a touch of the John Lennon’s given his looks and enjoys a blissfully uncomfortable moment when Patsy Kensit’s cougar mum tries to seduce him.
This only had a limited release and I almost missed it, so thanks again to the Northampton Filmhouse for their screening.
My good pal Helen Blaby said of the movie:
Another film that proves you don’t need fast-paced action. It whizzes and bangs to hammer home a point. I loved this film for its slowness, and for giving Jess Birdsall a chance to prove he can do more than Marcus Tandy in Eldorado.
Also joining us was Win Hughes who adds:
I loved this film, it was moving, funny and sweet. The leads had great chemistry and, despite a few narrative coincidences, unlikely occurrences and an almost non-reaction to an attempted rape, it is a film I heartily recommend.
Cast & credits
Director: Chris Green. 1hr 41min/101min. NOW Films. (15).
Producers: Michael Knowles, Jo Mifsud.
Writer: Chris Green.
Camera: Max Williams.
Music: Ian Livingstone.
Sets: Helen Watson.
Patrick McNamee, Sacha Parkinson, Max Boast, Charlotte Tyree, Patsy Kensit, Ricci Harnett, Jesse Birdsall, James Mackie, Emma Stansfield, Jamie Lomas.