What can one boy do to save his family?
Set in the East-End of London, PURE is a story about the bond between a mother, her children and the pull of drugs. Following the death of his father, ten year old Paul (Harry Eden) becomes the caretaker of his family – mother Mel (Molly Parker) and youngest brother Lee (Vinni Hunter). His only friend is a flighty waitress Louise (Keira Knightley) who helps Paul in his desperate attempt to protect his family from the mother’s drug addiction and her boyfriend, the local dealer (David Wenham). Ultimately, it is only when she hits rock bottom and is brought face to face with the damage she has wrought, that Mel finds the power to save herself and her family.
Runtime: 96 min.
Format: 1:85 Flat (35 MM)
Sound: Dolby Digital
Directed by: Gillies MacKinnon
Starring: Molly Parker David Wenham, Gary Lewis, Keira Knightley, Harry Eden, Marsha Thomason and Kate Ashfield
Best Debut Performance – Harry Eden — Berlin Film Festival
Official Selection — Toronto Film Festival
Best Feature — Emden Film Festival
Official Selection — Karlovy Vary Film Festival
Official Selection — Melbourne Film Festival
Official Selection — Iceland Film Festival
Honorable Mention — Film Festival by the Sea
Official Selection — Bangkok Film Festival
Hollywood Film Festival — Breakthrough Performance for Keira Knightley
“Two Thumbs up”.
Ebert & Roeper
(***)”…a beautifully acted coming-of-age film…astonishing lead performance by then 13-year old Harry Eden. Parker is brilliant as well…”
Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
“Harry Eden delivers the best performance I’ve ever seen from a child since Jamie Bell’s in Billy Elliot.”
Mariella Frostrup, Harpers Bazaar
“…the film’s performances are nicely nuanced and rich with personality. Parker’s haggard-looking Mel is wonderful…”
Paul Birchall, LA City Beat
“achingly authentic…But the real wonder is Parker, whose vulnerability and wraithlike beauty are devastating.”
J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
“Impressive. Eden is a magnetic presence, Knightley and Wenham bring nuance in a solid cast.
Nev Pierce, BBC
“Young Harry Eden gives an extraordinary performance…Thumbs up.”
Roger Ebert, Ebert & Roeper
“Mackinnon has always had a strong eye for the image and a better idea than his peers of how to use the camera… The performances are superb… Molly Parker is as selflessly committed as ever with fine understated work from David Wenham and Gary Lewis… while Keira Knightley finds acting depths BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM didn’t touch. However, young Harry Eden carries the film from beginning to end… simply one of the best performances by a child actor in the history of British cinema’.
Alan Morrison, Empire Magazine
“A powerful love story that has the look and feel of an art house hit. The performances are superb, especially the key one between Parker and Eden. An emotional roller coaster”.
Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
“Thumbs up for me as well. The kid is an amazing actor. Keira Knightley is a big star…and she’s very good as this waitress who’s a real piece of work. I mean she’s something else. But it’s Molly Parker’s film…I mean she’s a terrific actress.”
Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper
“It’s great to see (Gillies Mackinnon) return to form with the searing domestic drugs-drama’ ‘An incredibly moving experience… ‘Eden… is remarkable’, but one of the biggest surprises is the gritty performance from Keira Knightley’ ‘Highly competent performers…makes PURE a highly impressive package.”
James Mottram, Film Review
“Talented cast, each doing an impeccably honest job. An honorable, decent film…”
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Stars terrifically talented Molly Parker in this fantastic and moving feature. A jaw-droppingly great performance given by Harry Eden. Powerful, film about love between a boy and his mum…”
“Surprisingly original piece of work with impressive ankle-biter, Harry Eden. Very good performances from Knightley, Parker and Wenham in this low-key thoughtful production…”
“Astonishing. Directed with insight, Eden is a real find, one of the finest child actors in recent memory. There’s not a false note in the film. Powerful.”
Shadows on the Wall
“Standout performance from Harry Eden, Parker and Wenham both bring exceptional depth and nuance to their characters, Keira Knightley is equally fine. Well done.”
Maitland McDonagh, TV GUIDE
“…uniform excellence of actors: Parker ably switches between jangling raw nerves and nursing her zonked fragility, but it’s little Eden who holds Pure together with his fierce stare and stubborn, desperate pluck…”
SF Bay Guardian
“A powerful film set in the East End of London among the blue collar workers. Masterful settings, photography, acting, and direction, with a very good script. A huge social problem presented with conviction and realism.”
Andrew Johnston, North American Film Review