Riff-Raff | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Ken Loach, perhaps the last unreconstructed English realist (Kes, Family Life), takes a funky, intermittently comic, but generally uncompromisingly grim look at a group of men on a London building crew, placing particular emphasis on a young man from Glasgow (Robert Carlyle) and his affair with an aspiring singer (Emer McCourt). Shot on an actual building site complete with rats, with actors experienced in construction, and written by the late Bill Jesse, a former laborer himself, this film has a gritty authenticity about English working-class life that makes even Mike Leigh seem like a bit of an artificer (1991). Music Box, Friday through Thursday, March 19 through 25.

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