The Unloved (Morton, 2009)
So it turns out Smantha Morton can direct. I read that this was a one-time thing for her, but I’m really hoping she changes her mind. She was definitely paying attention while starring in movies by Lynne Ramsay and Michael Winterbottom, as both of their styles come through here. And I’m fully of the belief that stealing styles is a good thing, if the style is good.
The film is a criticism of the UK foster care system, but only barely. Yes, we watch a completely unorganized care facility operate. Yes, some of its employees are terrible people who should not be around kids, but the focus of this film is the main character’s adjustment to this world. She often runs away and wanders the city which Morton films beautifully and sets to some fantastic music. It’s poetic and extremely contemplative. We watch the girl gaze into the distance, in this instance looking over the skyline, and wonder what she is thinking. There are several similar instances whether she’s in room full of people and often gazing past everyone. She does find comfort in a select few people, which gives the film a more realistic vibe. I much prefer that to the all-out depression mode. But don’t be mistaken, this is a very sad film. Morton does what she wants to do while keeping this movie about the people involved. 9/10