Sweet Sixteen

Ken Loach's film is a dark portrait of a boy growing up in Scotland. We meet Liam, the film's protagonist, as he counts down the final weeks of his mom's prison sentence. His mother, who is set to be released on the eve of Liam's 16th birthday, was apparently busted for drugs some time ago. Liam decides to get things together to keep his mom out of "trouble" after her release by arranging a new place to live away from her abusive boyfriend. Not satisfied with the pace of earnings generated by selling stolen cigarettes, Liam decides to steal some Heroin from her mom's boyfriend and sell it with his buddy Pinball. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues. Having watched this film a few days ago I am still uncertain how to react to it. On one hand, it is a wonderful character study and really nails the "teenage boy" mentality. On the other, it seems terribly jaded and has that Dead Zone-esque "I know what's going to happen but I can't do anything to stop it" feel. I really enjoyed the film, but something is nagging at me about it that I can't identify. While I recommend it, I can't promise anything. One final note: the film is subtitled in english for those who have trouble with thick Scottish accents. All slang remains intact, but it is easier to read than listen to.