One of the reasons Luke Treadaway was cast was because he can play guitar and sing a bit himself. That is his actual voice during the busking scenes. See more »
James & Bob catch the 38 bus (a real bus route) from his new flat somewhere in Islington, which is in north London, to get to Covent Garden in central London. This is a journey of approximately 2.5 miles in a southerly direction on this route (presumably James gets off around Cambridge Circus and walks the few hundred yards to Covent Garden). The final destination on the front of the bus should therefore read 'Victoria Station' if its is heading south but in the film the front of the bus says the 38 bus terminates at 'Angel Islington' which indicates that the bus is travelling northwards and therefore in completely the wrong direction. See more »
On the UK release, the British Board Of Film Censors card preceding the feature reads 'A Streetcar Named Desire' briefly, before being replaced by the appropriate card for the film. This may have been a glitch peculiar to the cinema. See more »
This film offers almost exactly what you would expect it to and there's nothing wrong with that. We've seen better movies about the trials of homelessness, the tortures involved in getting clean from heroin, especially the latter when it's worth remembering this is a 12A certificate and so the horrors experienced by the main character can't be quite as lurid, nightmarish and unsettling as those depicted in TRAINSPOTTING.
Otherwise, this adaptation of James Bowen's autobiography, his account of how he was saved by the unlikely companionship of Bob, is pretty likable stuff. Luke Treadaway's performance is perfectly fine; his depiction of a drug user who's lost everything and is living rough comes across as credible enough. If there's a sense of fantasy about the effect Bob has on his fortunes - Londoners react to Bob as though they've never seen a cat before - then you just have to go with it to an extent. The film makes it clear that Bob personifies James's salvation, and it was a lovely detail to discover one of the feline actors playing the cat was none other than Bob himself.
Anthony Head doesn't need to do much to play James's estranged father, but he handles the emotional turmoil hidden beneath the character's austere exterior really well. Joanne Froggatt and THE STRAIN's Ruta Gedmintas are memorable as James's doctor and distant love interest respectively. The latter is a bit too obviously 'hippy chick' but she just about gets away with it, and I respected that the romantic undertones of her story line climaxed in a bittersweet, realistic way.
For me, this is up there with EDDIE THE EAGLE as a title that won't win any awards and will never slay the box office, but it made me feel better for having seen it. I'm looking forward to reading Bowen's book now. And I once knew a cat called Bob - a more affectionate and avuncular friend I don't think I've ever had.
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