Shell (15)


Dir: Scott Graham

With: Chloe Pirrie, Joseph Mawle

Runtime: 91 minutes

LIKE the Highlands landscape in which it is set, Scott Graham's drama is a blend of sombre and stunning. Chloe Pirrie stars as Shell, a young woman who has lived all her life in a remote petrol station. Bar the occasional customer who calls in, her depressed, deflated dad is the main person in Shell's life, but that life is starting to seem small and confined. A bleak tale but Pirrie is terrific, turning in a performance that is as fragile as her namesake, with Mawle memorable as the dad living in the past.

Glasgow Film Theatre, March 15-23; Filmhouse, Edinburgh, March 15-24; Dominion, Edinburgh, March 15-21; Eden Court, Inverness, March 15-26; Belmont, Aberdeen, March 22-April 4; DCA, Dundee, March 22-28.

The Spirit of '45 (U)


Dir: Ken Loach

Runtime: 98 minutes

KEN Loach stirs up some old-time socialist religion in this documentary, inset, looking at how Britain was rebuilt for the better after the Second World War. With interviewees ranging from doctors to nurses, financial analysts to the obligatory Tony Benn, he constructs a picture of a generation that set out to construct a fairer, more decent society, free from the obscene poverty of the past. Overly detailed to start with, not enough time is given over to what came after. But many moving observations, and the visuals, a mix of contemporary interviews and archive footage, are fascinating.

Simulcast Q&A with Ken Loach on March 17 at Glasgow Film Theatre, Grosvenor, Glasgow, Cameo, Edinburgh, Eden Court, Inverness, Belmont, Aberdeen. Then Filmhouse, March 15-21; GFT, March 18-20; Eden Court, March 21-25.

Vinyl (15)


Dir: Sara Sugarman

With: Phil Daniels, Keith Allen

Runtime: 85 minutes

JOHNNY Jones (Phil Daniels) used to be a punk god in the rad new band Weapons of Happiness. But that was then, and now he's living in a caravan with nothing bar his memories and a long-suffering girlfriend to keep him company. When a funeral reunites the band, Johnny wonders if, via a duck and dive or two, they can make it to the big time again. Sara Sugarman's drama is unashamedly corny, with its tale of middle-aged men reliving dreams of youth hardly a new one. But like Johnny and the boys, it's a picture that won't stay down for long.

Caesar Must Die (12A)


Dirs: Paolo and Vittorio Taviani

With: Salvatore Striano, Giovanni Arcuri

Runtime: 77 minutues

THE Taviano brothers show there is end to the way Shakespeare can be played with this riveting, if a touch jumbled, take on Julius Caesar. The setting: the real-life Rebibbia prison in Rome. The cast: the real-life inmates. As the cameras chart the casting and rehearsals, the play takes on fresh meaning. Winner of the Golden Bear in Berlin.

Glasgow Film Theatre, March 22-28