When 11 year-old girl Skunk (Laurence) witnesses a brutal assault by a neighbour, it sets in motion a chain of events that will impact her dad (Roth) and all the inhabitants of her claustrophobic North London cul-de-sac.
Despite its forebidding title, this British ensemble drama about fractious neighbours is engaging thanks to its balance between sweet humour and much rougher stuff. Excellent child newcomer Eloise Laurence is Skunk, the perky-but-vulnerable 11 year-old daughter of solicitor Tim Roth. Cillian Murphy is the cute beau of Roth’s live-in au pair (Zana Marjanovic); Rory Kinnear is the volatile dad of three thuggish girls; and Robert Emms is a troubled young man with a rapport with Skunk. They’re all good, though the eventual convergence of violent crises smacks of soap opera, and there’s an ill-advised swerve into Flatliners territory.
Newcomer Laurence gives the standout performance as the smart, precociously mature tween, but the ensemble cast all handle the tough, emotionally honest material with sensitivity.