That Sinking Feeling | Chicago Reader

That Sinking Feeling

Bill Forsyth's first film (1979), made before Gregory's Girl and Local Hero, turns out to be his best, a wry and beguiling ethnic comedy in the tradition of Alexander Mackendrick's Tight Little Island. A social-problem background (unemployed teenagers in today's postindustrial Glasgow) helps to anchor Forsyth's whimsy, and the humor seems to flow more from the situation and less from the director's determination to charm the audience at all cost. The story revolves around one boy's plot to burglarize a plumbing-supply warehouse and put his “ill-gotten drains” on the black market. Shot in 16-millimeter on a very low budget, the film is clearly a local product meant for a local audience—which might be the secret of its authenticity and integrity. With the members of the Glasgow Youth Theater.

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