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Benjamin

Country: UK, Language: English, 85 mins

  • Director: Simon Amstell
  • Writer: Simon Amstell
  • Producer: Alexandra Breede; Dominic Dromgoole; Louise Simpson

CGiii Comment

Well, well, well...Benjamin turned out to be an unexpected, awkward delight...with some surprisingly scathing swipes at 'creatives' and their [often questionable] 'produce' - performance artists and [read: experimental] filmmakers get it in the neck - all done in the best possible way...with wit.

Add to the mix a [frustrating] love-story: Boy woos boy, boy gets boy, boy dumps boy [TBC]...boy oh boy does this boy need a stiff glass of Red...and - quite possibly - a big juicy steak!

Yes, Benjamin is a duff filmmaker, a tea-totalitarian, an over-thinking meditating vegan. The archetypal fun-guy [ha ha]...yet [amazingly], he meets his 'yang' and he's adorable! Together, they are adorable. Due credit must go to Colin Morgan and Phénix Brossard [and, Mr Amstell's writing] for bringing alive - what would seem - two of the - quite possibly - most boring characters ever to appear on a page! On-screen...oooh you just want to tweak their cheeks...and then - gently, of course - smack them about their other cheeks!

And...the goodness doesn't stop there...there are some seriously immersive, original songs...to boot! The opening 'gag' is - really - rather brilliant. The audience member battling against sleep is - hysterically - familiar. The ending...well, no spoilers here!. But...the film does leave you asking one question...and, perhaps, it's a question that no-one should ask...especially in polite company, to Hell with it, we'll [royally] ask it anyway: Do gay [male, since everyone is-and-are calling themselves 'gay' nowadays] vegans spit or swallow!?! How uncouth! But...glad we got that one off our collective chests!

A damn fine wee film.


Trailer...

The(ir) Blurb...

The debut feature from the comedian, actor, writer and director Simon Amstell.

About to premiere his difficult second film 'No Self', Benjamin (Colin Morgan), a rising star filmmaker, has been too long in the edit. Unable to see the wood from the trees, he finds solace alone in his flat with tubs of ice cream and a cat for company.

On the eve of its premiere at the London Film Festival, encouraged by his friend Stephen (Joel Fry) and hard-partying publicist (Jessica Raine), Benjamin is introduced to a mesmeric French singer called Noah. As they journey through their version of the city, filled with vegan restaurants, comedy clubs and avant-garde dance performances, the pair slowly manoeuvre themselves and each other towards love. Boasting original music from James Righton (of the Klaxons), and great performances from its young cast, Simon Amstell's Benjamin is a bittersweet comedy about feeling isolated and struggling for connection.

Cast & Characters

Colin Morgan as Benjamin
Anna Chancellor as Tessa
Phénix Brossard as Noah
Joel Fry as Stephen
Jack Rowan as Harry
Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Paul
Michèle Belgrand as Adrienne
James Lailey as Claude
Ellie Kendrick as Anne the Dancer
Kriss Dosanjh as Monk (No Self)
Arnab Chanda as Monk (Youtube)
Joanne Howarthas Shopkeeper
Jessie Cave as Martha
Alex Lowe as Compere
Mariam Haque as Festival Host

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