Stage adaptations rarely work, and in the hands of a less visual talent this take on Enda Walsh's scabrous play could easily have become a brutal bore. But Kirsten Sheridan's debut movie is a work of rare subtlety. It's clunky in those few wordy places where its origins show through, but perversely compelling as a bleak, psychotic romance.
Born on the same day in the same hospital, Pig (Cillian Murphy) and Runt (Elaine Cassidy) are insular childhood friends, sweethearts with nothing sweet about them. Two destructive, spiteful misfits, they speak their own strange, Clockwork Orange-style slang and live in a claustrophobic world where only each other matters.
But in the run-up to their 17th birthdays, things begin to change. Runt seems to tire of their relationship, which unleashes a suppressed and lethal rage in Pig, who realises that their private little world is coming under threat. Stunningly filmed by Sheridan, with pitch-perfect performances from its leads, this grim black love story finds beauty in the darkest places.