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In her breathtaking and assured debut feature, Lynne Ramsay creates a haunting evocation of a troubled Glasgow childhood. Set during Scotlands national garbage strike of the mid-1970s, Ratcatcher explores the experiences of a poor adolescent boy as he struggles to reconcile his dreams and his guilt with the abjection that surrounds him. Utilizing beautiful, elusive imagery, candid performances, and unexpected humor, Ratcatcher deftly examines the landscape of urban decay and a rich interior landscape of hope and perseverance, resulting in a work at once raw and deeply poetic.
Brutality and hope intertwine in this quiet coming-of-age story. Set in a Glasgow, Scotland, slum during a 1973 trash collectors' strike, the film follows young James, shaken after accidentally causing the death of a friend, who dreams of moving into newly built council flats. The loosely plotted slice-of-life piece moves between James's family and his friendship with Kenny, a slightly off animal fancier, and the older Margaret Anne. Though the setting is grim, the movie is far from bleak. Even as the trash bags pile up, James takes comfort in something as simple as being combed for head lice. The cast is excellent, and writer-director Lynne Ramsay coaxes astonishingly good performances out of her child actors. Complex and haunting, Ratcatcher holds a silent wish at its center. The DVD includes an interview with Ramsay, and three of her short films. --Ali Davis
ramsey, with her background in photography, falls into a ever-growing trend in independent cinema. Ratcatcher comes complete with shakey steady cam shots, ultra-photograhic framing... Read morePublished on Feb. 2 2004
Well, I have to confess to turning on the English subtitles to understand the type of English practiced in Scotland, but this is one heck of a movie that will haunt you long after... Read morePublished on July 26 2003 by Michael
Poetry on screen, this is a grim but beautiful story about working class family life in 1970's England, focusing on the daily escapades of a young boy as he maneuvers through the... Read morePublished on April 22 2003 by noname
I LOVE this movie. It comes across as a film about loss of childhood, working class struggles, and all human attempts to escape. Kind of a downer, I guess. Read morePublished on March 19 2003 by "jackcatfish"
The Ratcatcher is a hauntingly realistic view of Glasgow Scotland in the mid 70's. The story follows James a young boy as he deals with the challenges in his life like death,... Read morePublished on Feb. 8 2003 by Michael Love
Set in a Glasgow, Scotland, slum during the infamous 1973 national trash collectors' strike, RATCATCHER is the stunning first feature of writer-director Lynne Ramsay. Read morePublished on Jan. 30 2003 by Robin Simmons
I've been haunted by this film since I saw it in the theatres two years ago, and I am grateful that Criterion has given it the care and craft that the film deserves in its video... Read morePublished on Sept. 19 2002