LOVE ME STILL

6 out of 10

Release Date: 4th April 2008

Director: Danny Hiller

Cast: Andrew Howard, Geoff Bell, Alex Reid, Camille Coduri, Brian Croucher and Tom Bell

Writer: Danny Hiller

Trailer: LOVE ME STILL

Love Me Still poster

Love Me Still is a very well acted and written little film for the most part. It’s a big shame that the story gets bogged down two thirds of the way through. But for an indie with virtually no hope of being discovered with limited amounts of appeal, Love Me Still is definitely worth seeking out.

Andrew Howard (REVOLVER) plays a jail bird who wants to surprise his wife by not telling her of his imminent release.  His wife (ALEX REID – THE DESCENT) is being blackmailed into doing illegal drug drop offs for  Howard’s brother (GEOFF BELL – COMEDOWN).  Despite his evil aspirations Bell becomes obsessed with Reid and kidnaps her and her daughter to rural Ireland.  He co-erces her into having constant sex in order to pay off a debt for a botched drop.  Of course, on Howard’s release everything gets considerably more pear shaped. Events set the two brothers on a collision course with only one possible outcome.

Part of the films success is the inevitability of the scenario.  The two warring brothers with a woman at the heart of the matter will lead to heartbreak all round. Comfortably played by the whole cast, Geoff Bell is the standout, adding shade to his normal thug stylings.  Veteran Liverpudlian actor Tom Bell (THE KRAYS) shows up as Howard’s father in his last role.  He is suitably crusty and wise but he adds very little to proceedings and actually looks visibly ill. Camille Coduri (THE FIRM) brings great support as Howard’s caring but brassy sister with a taste for toy boys.  Andrew Howard is a solid leading man and I wonder if we’ll see more of him. I only recall him from Guy Ritchie‘s weird Revolver. Alex Reid is utterly convincing as the wife under siege with no one to turn to for help. She is one of the UK’s most talented actresses in my opinion and I wonder why she doesn’t get more gigs. I first spotted her in The Descent and have an eye out for her ever since.

Love Me Still is a good story with a very good cast and convincing character arcs.  It’s got a committed cast but it’s a shame that this film went nowhere (DVD sales / no cinema release). With UK crime and gangster movies being ten a penny, here’s one that really holds the interest and has an honest crack at portraying real people in bizarre situations.  To be honest, its a hard film to recommend specifically based on the content. Who it’s meant to appeal to is a real mystery and it’s a shame to let it languish in a no man’s land between good films and dry non event movies. I think it may even be hard to find a copy.

6 out of 10 – Way above average but it’s all a bit dry despite the great acting and interesting plot.

Read JOE PESCI II’s fluffy review below…

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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One thought on “LOVE ME STILL

  1. JOE PESCI II’s review

    Just a few words on this one as the DVD we were watching died towards the end so a crucial fifteen minute period (i.e. most of the climax of the film) will forever be unknown to me. Therefore, if those fifteen minutes are really bad and completely ruin the rest of the film, that’s not my fault. Hopefully I’ll be able to tweak this review should I ever find another copy.

    LOVE ME STILL looks like a micro-budget effort, but one that’s probably worth (a) a bigger budget and (b) taking a look at. Although no masterpiece the first half is well written, well acted, well paced and well shot. About the halfway mark it seems to be bogging down into trouble, but the end certainly makes satisfactory dramatic sense.

    Alex Reid is struggling to make ends meet after her husband Andrew Howard gets himself jailed. Fortunately his estranged brother is on hand to help out. Unfortunately the estranged brother is played by Geoff Bell, so we know he’s going to be unreasonable. And, yes he is. Bell is as slitheringly vile as he ever has been, but also much more naturally too. He’s less assured when he tries to garner sympathy, but that’s more of a minor weakness in the writing. Anyway, Bell soon has Reid running around north London on drug-running errands, and then kidnaps her and takes her to Ireland on the day hubby gets out of the nick.

    Good performances from Reid, Bell and Howar, are backed up with good natural support from Camille Coduri and Tom Bell in his last film. Andrew Howard is particularly good as a good man who cannot control his temper, and the film (perhaps a little over-earnestly) does consider issues to do with a criminal returning to society and what help there is or isn’t available, and whether people can or can’t be helped, and how easy it is to lapse into old criminal ways (particularly if your wife has been kidnapped by your drug-dealing rapist brother). There are a few misjudgements: the soundtrack is rubbish, and there are only so many times a kidnap victim can attempt an escape. But north London looks like north London: grubby and real and boring and crowded (as opposed to the stylised, fumigated cityscape of WELCOME TO THE PUNCH), and the tensions between the characters are nicely built up (though I have no idea if the release works out so well, you’ll have to take a look).

    There is something of the Greek tragedy in this (possibly, the missing fifteen minutes might be a Leslie Nielsen type spoof for all I know), despite a few improbabilities it is a simple tale, told simply which leaves you thinking. Everything about this film (including the things I didn’t like) persuades me that everyone involved actually believed in what they were doing, which is rare enough (yes, I mean you EVIL ALIENS), particularly on a project which is so low-key and thoughtful. Worth seeking out, probably.

    6.5 out of 10

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