16 Years Of Alcohol review

The big revelation in Richard Jobson's bleak, semi-autobiographical drama is - wait for it, booze ruins your life. Not the most startling of insights, and definitely not one that merits this amount of pretentious voiceover and navel-gazing. Still, the ex-punk singer and critic deserves credit for telling his downbeat yarn with a fair degree of visual style and a keen eye for atmospheric Edinburgh locations.

Kevin McKidd plays Frankie, an alcoholic's son who inherits his dad's bad habits. After a youth spent terrorising the locals, our hero finds comfort in the arms of record-shop clerk Helen (Laura Fraser) and, later, fellow AA member Mary (Susan Lynch). At every turn, though, he's dragged back to his former life.

Inspired by Stanley Kubrick and Wong Kar-wai, Jobson calls his directorial debut "a dreamscape where love and tragedy connect". Unfortunately, at the risk of sounding flippant, Alcohol will probably leave you needing a stiff drink yourself.


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