Light Years has the kitchen-sink stylistic trappings of an Andrea Arnold film, yet the conflict that drives the narrative is far less apparent. As a result it is at times laboriously low-key, but there are eloquent moments of aching sadness, subtle suggestion and, for the viewer, profound realisation.
Campbell rightly judges and respects the audience’s ability to deduce, never falling into the trap of over-explaining. However, this does limit the film’s pace.
Wide variance in the abilities of the young actors distracts somewhat, though the siblings are an endearingly convincing bunch, especially when the climax forces them closer together.
Campbell’s eye for a real rather than romanticised Britain – motorways, industrial parks, damp forests – is refreshing, yet Light Years fails to take hold until it’s almost passed you by.
CAST: Sophie Burton, Zamira Fuller, James Stuckey, Beth Orton, Muhammet Uzuner, Mickey Morris
DIRECTOR: Esther May Campbell
WRITER: Esther May Campbell
SYNOPSIS: Rose’s (Fuller) mum is staying in a hospice. Having met with resistance from the adults around her, Rose sets off to visit her mum alone.