Tim Roth stars in this suburban tale with an otherworldly twist as Skellig, a seemingly weakened bird-like angel who young Michael finds living in a shed at the far end of his parent's garden. Distraught by the news of his baby sister's congenital heart problems, Michael is in need of a friend, and Skellig may be the unlikely soul to fulfill that ...Read MoreTim Roth stars in this suburban tale with an otherworldly twist as Skellig, a seemingly weakened bird-like angel who young Michael finds living in a shed at the far end of his parent's garden. Distraught by the news of his baby sister's congenital heart problems, Michael is in need of a friend, and Skellig may be the unlikely soul to fulfill that duty. Funny, fantastic, and rooted in reality, this unconventional family-friendly mystery-fantasy is based on an award-winning novel by David Almond and co-stars John Simm (Doctor Who), Kelly Macdonald (Transpotting), and Bill Milner as Michael. Jonathan Frey, RoviRead Less
This children's film is just as absorbing for adults and well worth watching. The story is of Michael (Bill Milner), brought to live in an old house by his parents, pregnant Louise (Kelly Macdonald) and Dave (John Simm), and feeling marginalised with all the drama of the coming birth. He discovers in an old shed at the bottom of the garden what appears to be a sinister stranger, barely existing there and in need of help. Michael takes over his care, scavenging in the kitchen bin for leftovers and taking bottles of beer from the fridge. This is where the film really takes off: Tim Roth as Skellig, the stranger, is superb, larger than the screen and completely mesmerising as the unpredictable man who eats bugs, mice and snails. He gradually warms towards Michael, who with the help of his friend, Mina (Skye Bennett), begins to feel affection for what once seemed to be a monster.
When the new born sister is taken back to hospital for an operation on her heart and the prognosis is bad, Dave starts to fall apart and drink heavily, in a fit of rage firing the shed where Skellig lives. Michael saves him from the fire and together with Mina, takes him for safety to an unused tower in the woods, discovering Skellig's moth-eaten wings and realising he is possibly a fallen angel. He implores Skellig to make his sister well.
But these are just the facts of the plot - a mere skeleton on which to hang a film of mystery, charm and well-wrought drama. There is so much in this film that enchants and nothing evident that could have been done better. Annabel Jankel's direction is sure and true, and the actors don't let her down. A beauty of a film.