Two For Joy begins with the last day of school for Vi (Emilia Jones, daughter of Aled Jones and she was brilliant opposite Guy Pearce in Brimstone), but life is far from easy for her.
Her tearaway younger brother, Troy (Badger Skelton), is having seizures, and her mother, Aisha (Samantha Morton) has anxiety issues and ends up leaving the running of the family to Vi, and she’s struggling to deal with the pair of them, especially with Troy who hangs around with local scally Kyle (Adam Young), who thinks nothing of catching a fish from the lake, battering it to death and then throwing it back, prior to robbing from the local corner shop with a knife.
So, how about a trip to the seaside so everyone can take a chill pill? Will it make everything better? Or will everything go from bad, to worse, to “Christ on a bike!”? Well, it’s a British movie about the working class, so…
Down there, it’s a journey of discovery for Troy who takes a fancy to a headstrong older girl, Miranda (Bella Ramsey – see poster, above), who he meets just when she’s having her period, and in addition to Ms Morton, this also brings into the picture more well-known British acting talent in the form of Daniel Mays as the girl’s father, Lias, and Billie Piper as his sister, Lillah.
I can tell there’s good acting in this, and from a great cast, but fairly often, the dialogue often gets mumbled by the sound, and if I can’t tell what they’re saying (and the screener I watched did not contain subtitles), then I’m a bit stuck to follow every last thing that’s going on. As such, despite the heavy drama onscreen, I do feel a bit detached from everything that’s going on.
Hence, I do need to watch it again with subtitles, and a better sound mix if one is available. Maybe that’ll come in the released version.
Also note that the aspect ratio is sort-of 16:9 but slightly windowboxed and with rounded corners – as you can see in the trailer below, which is very bizarre.
Two For Joy is released in cinemas and on digital download on February 25th.
Running time: 87 minutes
Studio: The Movie Partnership
Released: February 28th 2019
Director: Tom Beard
Producers: Emma Comley, Sadie Frost
Screenplay: Tom Beard
Music: Rodaidh McDonald
Aisha: Samantha Morton
Vi: Emilia Jones
Lillah: Billie Piper
Miranda: Bella Ramsey
Lias: Daniel Mays
Policewoman: Ibinabo Jack
Natalie: Grace Hogg-Robinson
Cam: David Elliot
Kyle: Adam Young
Troy: Badger Skelton
Social Worker: Eva Fontaine
Shopkeeper: Dana Haqjoo
Vi’s Friend: Savannah Acquah
Beach goer: Seychella
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.