Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
We're looking for reporters for the LFF
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

Natalie Gavin
Christine Bottomley
Neil Dudgeon.
Clio Barnard .
Running Time
90 minutes

A Royal Night Out
3 Star Empire Rating
Danny Collins
4 Star Empire Rating
Insidious: Chapter 3
3 Star Empire Rating
San Andreas
2 Star Empire Rating
Tomorrowland: A World Beyond
4 Star Empire Rating

My Darling Clementine
5 Star Empire Rating
Third Man, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Monty Python’s Life Of Brian [steel book]
5 Star Empire Rating
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
5 Star Empire Rating

The Arbor
Unconventional and moving British docu-drama

submit to reddit

A documentary charting the life of Bradford-born playright Andrea Dunbar, from the performance of her first play to her tragic early death.

The Arbor
Rita, Sue And Bob Too! writer Andrea Dunbar is the subject of this fascinatingly original docu-drama. A single mum living on a Bradford council estate, she penned her first play at 15; her next was made into the hit ’80s film. Yet she died, at 29, in the local pub. By focusing on the children left behind, this paints a desperate picture of wasted talent and a neglectful mum whose addictive tendencies were passed on to her daughter with devastating results. Artist/filmmaker Barnard is daring: actors lip-synch to recordings of Dunbar’s loved ones, while archive footage shows the real playwright. Inbetween, The Arbor is staged on her estate. It shouldn’t work, but it does: an artsy yet accessible insight into working-class life.


Arbor, The Arbor, The
Released: 14 March 2011
An audio commentary may have been a noodle-twist too far, bearing in mind the film’s voiceovers, but the selection still feels scant. A short film of pony-and-trap racing in the traveller community does offer the sight of the police trying to pull over a horse, so that’s something.

Moving, bold, unconventional and impeccably staged, The Arbor is a worthy tribute to a powerfully artistic voice.

Reviewed by Anna Smith

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Jessica Chastain On The Martian
On becoming an astronaut and rescuing Matt Damon AGAIN

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

Hallowed Ground: Folk Horror In British Film
Ten tales from our island's dark past

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)