Monday, March 20, 2006

Pavee Lackeen – The Traveller Girl (15)

Perry Ogden, Ireland (88 mins)
Winnie Maugham, Rose Maugham, Paddy Maugham

This directing debut for renowned photographer Ogden deploys non-professional Irish actors in semi-improvised situations not unlike their own lives. Ten-year old Winnie (Maugham) struggles against her schooling, while Mum Rose (Maugham Snr.) struggles bringing up Winnie and her nine siblings, all of whom live in caravans as travellers. It’s unvarnished, zero-budget stuff, with wildly varying performances and, at times, scarcely any dialogue, incident or narrative progression. But stick with it to unlock its charms. The inherent grimness is largely implied in lyrical detail, rather than hammered home, and in Ogden’s hands, Winnie’s meandering, unassuming tale becomes quietly compelling. Andy Murray

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