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Pure review

With his father dead and his mother a junkie, 10-year-old Paul (Harry Eden) has become the de facto head of the family. But can Mum (Molly Parker) kick the skag before they fall into the clutches of local pimp Lenny (David Wenham)?

Returning to the gritty authenticity of Small Faces after the stylistic flamboyance of Hideous Kinky, Brit helmer Gillies MacKinnon applies everything he's learned, bringing some welcome visual flair to his downbeat yarn. He's ably backed up by Parker and Wenham, the Canadian and Aussie managing to make credible Cockneys.

But there's an unmistakable whiff of EastEnders hanging over Alison Hume's overwrought script, and Keira Knightley's stilted turn as a pregnant waitress squanders much of the goodwill she earned in Bend It Like Beckham. She could learn a lot from Master Eden, revelatory as Pure's plucky young hero.

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