I would watch Peter Mullan in anything.
He’s a brilliant actor, and has the films to prove it: “My Name is Joe,” “Session 9,” “Boy A,” Trainspotting,” etc.
I’m also a big fan of his directorial efforts, “Orphans” and “The Magdalene Sisters.”
So it was with some excitement today that I sat down to watch his latest outing as a director, “NEDS.” Mullan also has a small role in the film.
The story is that of “Non-Educated Delinquents” (or NEDS) in Scotland during the 1970s. It explores class conflict, gang violence, domestic violence and what such a turbulent atmosphere can do to a child who started life and school on a promising note. Despite the heavy subject matter, there is a good amount of humor.
The main subject is John McGill, who is played in his teenage years by Conor McCarron. John goes from aiming for the top of his class to becoming willfully delinquent. It’s a sad and sometimes terrifying progression as you watch him become a self-destructive maniac. The end of the film is appropriately enigmatic as he literally walks among lions.
Besides enjoying the movie, I was unnerved time and again by the resemblance McCarron had to myself and my brother. He looks like a combination of the two of us. (I’m not so sure about my little bro.) I even got a second opinion that confirmed that I wasn’t crazy.
OK, so it might not be so apparent from the photos, but check out the trailer. Seriously, people, at certain angles the resemblance gives me a chill.