Synosis: Peter Mullan’s third feature as a writer and director, after Orphans and The Magdalene Sisters, returns him to the 1970s Glasgow of his youth, although the Trainspotting and My Name is Joe actor stresses that Neds (which stands for ‘Non-Educated Delinquents’) is ‘personal but not autobiographical’.
We meet confident, studious John McGill just as he’s about to start secondary school, where he fully expects to continue his so-far glittering academic career. But there are dark clouds on the horizon. His friendship with middle-class Julian shines a light on both his poor background and the dysfunction of his home, where his father is drunk, violent and ineffective, his mother is troubled and repressed and his elder brother is always in trouble with the law. At school, there are one or two good teachers, but most are uninterested and unhelpful in the face of the brutal and territorial gang culture which has spread from local housing estates to the schoolyard.
NEDS hits UK cinemas this Friday, 21st January and keep your eyes peeled for our interview with the director which should be on the site in the next couple of days.