Hurt by Paradise
Cert 12A ★★★
A whimsical debut feature and an ode to the modern-day city of London from multitalented director, writer, poet and actor Greta Bellamacina. She stars as Celeste Blackwood, a young mother trying to carve out a career as a poet.
Her friend and neighbour Stella (played by co-writer Sadie Brown), dreams of hitting the big time as an actress, but spends much of her time babysitting Celeste’s son instead of pursuing her own dreams. There’s a brief – too brief – cameo from the brilliant Jaime Winstone, while Youtuber-turned-actor Tanya Burr also co-stars.
Bellamacina and her co-authors Sadie Brown and Robert Montgomery present a perceptive and often hilariously funny story about friendship and family ties in this glorious adventure.
Understated and lo-fi, as a picture Hurt By Paradise has undeniable ambition. Although the storyline itself is not always entirely coherent, it is never boring, and is both handsomely acted and full of charming and surreal moments.
This review was first published in The Daily Mirror on 18/09/20