Leave To Remain review

Speaking up for hidden voices...

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Between its reliance on non-professional actors (plus Toby Jones) and first-hand stories, docu-maker Bruce Goodison’s drama about young asylum seekers aims for authenticity. It gets halfway there, withheld partly by forced plotting: as confident Omar (Noof Ousellam), fearful Abdul (Zarrien Masieh) and scarred Zizidi (Yasmin Mwanza) await news of their refugee status under teacher Nigel’s (Jones) watch, some twists strike false notes.

Alt-J’s laboured score strikes plenty, too. Goodison’s ace is his cast: when he just lets us watch them, their natural warmth provides all the conviction needed.

Freelance writer

Kevin Harley is a freelance journalist with bylines at Total Film, Radio Times, The List, and others, specializing in film and music coverage. He can most commonly be found writing movie reviews and previews at GamesRadar+.