Rare Beasts

Among fresh arrivals on our screens is a directing debut from Bille Piper, who also stars in her own film, Rare Beasts, which also features Kerry Fox and David Thewlis and a cameo from the luminous yet ubiquitous Lilly James.

Despite the friendly faces, it’s the sort of film that might set your teeth on edge, so hyper and neurotic are its subjects and its shooting style, all zoom close-ups and frenzied cutting while people drink and jabber and take coke or scream in the street.

It’s supposed to be a blackly ironic ‘anti-romcom’, about love and how we have to look for it in difficult places and how it isn’t always as obvious as it looks in the movies. I wish I’d liked it, but there was just nothing to admire in Piper’s own twitchy performance, even in its most honest and ironic moments, nor in the character of Peter (Leo Bill), whom she’s supposed to be in love with but who’s a boor and a bully and rude to her attention-deficient, screaming seven-year-old son. 

Frankly, I wanted to scream at all of them to shut up. I’m not sure whom I hated most in this. It could be the first film you go back to the cinemas for, only to find yourself walking out pretty soon after settling in your seat.