is a revelation in “Farming,” portraying a working-class woman whose Nigerian-born foster child joins a skinhead gang.
The low-budget drama premiered at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and marks the feature directorial debut of Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
, an actor who drew on his own troubled youth to make the movie. “Farming” doesn’t just explore hot-button issues such as racial prejudice, xenophobia, and urban poverty, but pulls back the curtain on a little-remembered social experiment in the U.K. during the 1960s that involved the farming out of Nigerian children to white families.
Beckinsale, best known for portraying elegant leads in the likes of “Pearl Harbor
” and “Love & Friendship
,” or the kick-ass vampire Selene in the “Underworld
” franchise, completely transforms herself. With a thick Tilbury accent, dowdy clothes, and a sharp tongue, she creates a complex, flawed, and compelling woman. Ingrid Carpenter, Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s foster mother,