The Scouting Book for Boys

Film Review by Gail Tolley | 19 Mar 2010
Film title: The Scouting Book for Boys
Director: Tom Harper
Starring: Thomas Turgoose, Holliday Grainger, Rafe Spall, Susan Lynch
Release date: 19 March 2010
Certificate: 15

Thomas Turgoose will be a familiar name to Shane Meadows fans; the young actor starred in both This is England and Somers Town as a cocky youth with the gift of the gab. In The Scouting Book for Boys, Turgoose plays against type as shy David who helps his close friend Emily (Holliday Grainger) run away from the Norfolk holiday park where they both live. Tom Harper’s debut feature shows the director has an eye for a great shot - the opening sequence where the two young actors leap across caravan tops against the setting sun is particularly memorable. The performances are also strong and there are moments when Harper perfectly captures the heady mix of teenage uncertainty and desire. However, there’s an over reliance on obvious landscape shots (there are at least five of sunsets) which begin to feel like filler after a while. The ending too is misguided, not poignant as it was undoubtedly intended but instead a little confusing and far too abrupt.