Trespass Against Us ★★

We haven't seen a lot of crime movies set amongst the british "traveller" communities - the only other one I can think of is Brad Pitt's character in "Snatch", which played his incomprehensibility for laughs. In this case, it isn't, quite - instead, it's shown as a tight-knit but somewhat tense family, led by Brendan Gleeson as Colby as a mix of psychopathy and whimsy in about equal measure. Michael Fassbinder plays his son, an enthusiastic largely petty criminal who never the less has great warmth for his kids and an extensive wariness about his father's intentions. The story is largely Fassbinder's (using his natural irish accent for once) as he attempts to pull away from his family, even as it appears from his previous crimes it may already be too late for him...

The film flounders a little on exactly how sympathetic it wants the bonds of father and son to be - pretty much everything that befalls them is Colby's fault in one way or another, yet the ending sentimentalizes things and slightly betrays the much tougher performances that Fassbinder and Gleeson have been giving. In some ways this has elements of the same problems I had with "Captain Fantastic" - just because someone is a biological parent does not mean that they are necessarily the best person for a child to stay with, and estrangement can be the best option out of a bad set of options, which neither film seems entirely willing to accept. Still for much of its length this is a pretty fascinating film of an anarchistic community on the edge of society that did keep me interested, even if it fell at the last hurdle.