You’re Ugly Too – Film Review by Emily Elphinstone
Director: Mark Noonan
Writer: Mark Noonan (screenplay)
Stars: Aidan Gillen, Lauren Kinsella, Jesse Morris
You’re Ugly Too is a very Irish film in the best sense; taking time to explore its realistically flawed characters, rather than relying on flashy set pieces. The film follows recently orphaned 11 year old Stacey (Lauren Kinsella), and her uncle Will (Aidan Gillen) who has been given compassionate release from prison to care for her.
Moving to a caravan park in the Midlands, the unlikely duo form an uneasy bond, despite struggling to find common ground outside their obvious biological ties. Once there, they meet Belgian teacher Emilie (Erika Sante) and her Romanian husband Tibor (George Pistereanu) with whom they form a friendship seemingly built more on necessity than any real feelings.
Gillen is brilliant as Anti-hero Will, determined to instil good manners in his young niece despite his own all too obvious flaws; and Lauren Kinsella gives an incredible performance as Stacey, a character who seems to be both an incredibly old soul, and a moody vulnerable child. The real strength of the film comes from the chemistry between the two, which really captures the emotion of such a complex relationship, while allowing them to maintain their own blend of deadpan humour throughout.
There is some sense of inevitability as the film progresses, which prevents any real surprise as the plot develops. However, as the debut feature of Writer/Director Mark Noonan, You’re Ugly Too is confidently written and beautifully shot; making the most of the open landscape and desolate scenery. You’re Ugly Too handles a heavy subject with a refreshingly light touch, and as an understated character piece, it’s well worth a watch. No doubt this won’t be the last we hear from the incredibly talented Mark Noonan.