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Situated just this side of Manchester in northern England, Sheffield is a predominantly working class town whose infamous cliffs have long been one of the country's most popular climbing spots. When he's not doing the odd bit of scaling, Ray (Pete Postlethwaite), a fifty-something divorcee, ekes out an existence as the foreman of a rag-tag group of mates who take on the unusual high risk, high paying (often illegal) jobs no-one else wants. This time around the team has been covertly hired to paint, from top to bottom, some thirty miles of electrical pylons which stretch endlessly along the lonely Yorkshire moors. When Aussie backpacker Gerry (Rachel Griffiths) happens by one day and enquires about a job, Ray, against his better judgement, agrees to take her on board. Almost immediately the young girl and older man hit it off, but both are ill-prepared for the complications and the pressures, both internal and external, their unlikely romance invariably engenders.

"Like The Full Monty, writer Simon Beaufoy's well-known earlier effort, Among Giants searches for humour and compassion amid the monotony of everyday existence. In Beaufoy's resolutely unglamourous world there are no heroes or villains in the true sense, just ordinary people negotiating life's numerous potholes. Postlethwaite's Ray is a finely drawn portrait of a man who suddenly finds himself approaching middle age without really having anything to show for it. His demeanor is that of someone who has become resigned to the very real possibility that things are not going to get much better. Gerry, on the other hand, is a drifter who probably does not know exactly what she's looking for but believes she'll recognise it when she sees it. Both these wayward souls share loneliness as a common denominator and the love that briefly touches them is as towering and finally forbidding as the towers and cliffs that surround them. Despite a somewhat gratuitous scene featuring the lovers frolicking naked under a huge leaking water tower, Among Giants is a low-key, contemplative film of considerable ambition. There is a palpable sense of bleakness to debuting director Miller's wind-swept vistas and he has coaxed marvellous performances not only from Postlethwaite and the ubiquitous Griffith, but also from key supporting players like newcomer James Thornton and Lennie James. Well worth catching before it disappears."
Leo Cameron

"What may well have been an interesting film turns into a crashing bore. There’s nothing more tiresome than a film about a group of people who paint electrical towers and a middle aged man romping naked through waterfalls with Rachel Griffiths. It's a pretty film, but is empty, shallow and directed with a certain stodginess by Sam Miller. It's curious that the film was written by Simon Beaufoy, who penned The Full Monty. The only resonance of that hit film are the depictions of working-class Northern Britain, but what it also proves is that the overall package is equally important. One has to believe in the central relationship for the movie to work, and Postlethwaite and Griffiths are so clearly miscast as a couple, that the relationship lacks credibility right from the outset. In addition, it's a relationship that never sets up to develop itself effectively. Among Giants is a film without a dramatic centre, a plodding, cumbersome affair whose only redeeming feature is picturesque Yorkshire."
Paul Fischer

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CAST: Rachel Griffiths, Pete Postlethwaite, James Thornton

DIRECTOR: Sam Miller

PRODUCER: Stephen Garrett

SCRIPT: Simon Beaufoy


MUSIC: Tim Atak

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes



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