Following the death of his wife, struggling Jack (Hoskins), builds relationships that are threatened by the judgemental people around him.
Bittersweet to the core, Ruby Blue is director Jan Dunn’s follow-up to Gypo. Hoskins is pigeon trainer Jack, a depressed widower who finds solace in the company of 8 year-old neighbour Florrie. Hunted by the narrow-minded community who fail to see the innocence in their bond, Jack builds a relationship with the mysterious Stephanie (Balasko), which is in turn threatened by a secret he finds hard to accept.
The strong, understated cast, including the promising Jody Latham as wayward teen Ian, makes this slow building story into a personal and occasionally heart-rending piece of film.
Far from seeming creepy or inappropriate, Jack’s friendships with Florrie and Ian give hope against a backdrop of mob mentality and degrading social values. The naturalistic script gave a sense of realism, but the odd use of incidental music is distracting at times.
A hard hitting but hopeful British drama with a pared down performance from Bob Hoskins.