The wonderfully economic screenplay allows the attempted connection between these two to strike a persuasive balance between feel-good meetings of minds and ultra-bleak nihilism. But Hannah herself is hiding a secret too. Possibly the hard slap Joseph needs to make him aware of his own context and environment, he discovers she too is in a hell of her very own. Considine’s first feature film hinges entirely on two hugely affecting portrayals by Mullan and Coleman – the latter in particular giving a terrifyingly honest depiction of abuse – whilst Mullan, his voice deep and cracked with bitterness and self-pity, gives Joseph a whispered humanity between the eruptions of fury.
Words: Ash Verjee