Red Road

THRILLER; 1hr 53min

STARRING: Kate Dickie, Tony Curran

Night watch: Dickie

Jackie (Dickie) is a Glasgow surveillance operator who even when not at work views the world with a sense of remove. When your job is the minutiae of other people’s lives, chances are you’ll see something you shouldn’t. For Jackie, that something is a man (Curran) with whom she has had a dreadful association. Having done time, he is back on the streets, seemingly unscathed. Jackie becomes possessed, monitoring him with her closed-circuit cameras and venturing into the Red Road housing-estate flats where he is living. Watching her tunnel deeper in — torn, it appears, between loathing and attraction — is queasily, irresistibly magnetic.


As Jackie is to learn, and as director Andrea Arnold’s revelatory screenplay makes plain, some scores can never be settled. The indelibility of her aloneness — so acutely conveyed by Dickie — and the places to which it takes her add morally complex dimensions to a potent drama that reveals itself in increments, piece by jagged piece.