The Unloved review

Samantha Morton makes a strong directorial debut with her TV movie about the UK care system

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A belated theatrical upgrade for Samantha Morton’s made-for-TV directorial debut.

Based on her own troubled childhood, Morton’s film follows 11-yearold Lucy (Molly Windsor) into care after another beating from dad Robert Carlyle.

If its small-screen roots suggest an idealised invective against failing social services, Morton’s first-hand knowledge prefers the personal – zeroing in on Lucy’s numb bewilderment with stark, sparse poise.

It’s commanding, committed and sometimes too chilly to truly engage, but it’s also heartfelt, powerful stuff – especially in Lauren Socha’s passionate, painful performance as Lucy’s lost-cause roommate.

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