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June 16, 2016

Skellig (2009)
Director: Annabel Jankel
Actors: Bill Milner, Tim Roth, John Simm

skellig-02.jpg (322×175)

Synopsis: Michael (Bill Milner) is a young boy who moves with his parents to a new, ramshackle home on the other side of town. While his baby sister is fighting for her life in hospital, Michael befriends a strange being, Skellig (Tim Roth), hiding out in his family’s garden shed.

Review: Skellig is textbook children’s storytelling for the big screen – unsurprising given it’s based on a bestselling children’s novel, written transparently and didactically as a text for use in schools.

Thus the story is already ready-made for visual realisation with its coming of age theme and childlike, sentimental-cum-spooky atmosphere. This is mined through lots of close-ups of creepy crawlies and cobwebs, plus of course the suitably grotesque figure of Skellig. Within its modest remit, the director and cast of Skellig do a competent job: outing the book’s “angel” symbolism neatly enough, although I can’t help but feel if the film hadn’t been quite so reverent to its source material, it could have fashioned a more distinctive end-result. (June 2016)

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