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Pure (2002)

Directed by Gillies MacKinnon

Starring: Molly Parker, Keira Knightley, Harry Eden, David Wenham

Gillies MacKinnon is a relatively unknown director who took on this emotional drama in 2002. The film has an interesting cast, including Molly Parker, Keira Knightley, Harry Eden, and David Wenham. Molly Parker has been in an array of great projects including Deadwood and Hollywoodland. She’s also currently in the cast of the television series The Firm. Keira Knightley is best known for the Pirates of the Caribbean series as well as movies like Bend It Like Beckham. Actor David Wenham has had a long career including a role in The Lord of the Rings films as Faramir. Harry Eden is the unknown face in the movie who got this part in Pure after a handful of small television appearances.

Pure is the story of Paul (Eden), a young boy forced into adulthood after losing his father. Things are further complicated by his mother (Parker) and her heroin addiction which has forced her into a life of prostitution. Now she’s under the thumb of her drug-dealing pimp Lenny (Wenham). As Paul struggles to get away from the dismal life he leads he befriends a wayward teen waitress (Knightley) who tries to help him despite being helpless herself. As his mother continues to fail, Paul is forced to take charge and try to save his family.

This is a great story with an emotional undercurrent that moves throughout the entire film. Harry Eden plays the role of Paul wonderfully, making the movie that much tougher to watch. With the great performance of Molly Parker as his junkie mother, the movie becomes very good.

The film itself is done in a style that really complements the setting and the subject. The camera work and editing are great throughout. All of the sets and locations feel natural and allow the acting to take the forefront.

This is a tough movie and I’ve had a hard time putting much into words.¬† The film is powerful and moving and doesn’t attempt to gloss over the harsh realities of the story. In the end this is a drama worth seeing. I give the movie 4 stars out of 5.

Rating: R

Running Time: 96 minutes

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