Review - Film - Who's the daddy?

1st July 2011 at 01:00

Donor unknown

Director: Jerry Rothwell

Out on DVD on 6 July

Cert: 12A

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5

When we were informed of the topics involved in Donor Unknown, I imagined that we would be in for a very long couple of hours. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Donor Unknown is a perfect example of "Don't judge a book - although in this case film - by its cover." The enlightening and touching story of JoEllen's search for her biological father on occasion nearly drove me to tears.

I had a very personal connection with the story as I have not met my own father. I think this film will resonate with anyone who has similar family issues.

As I'm also a single parent, there was another personal connection for me around how it may affect my daughter not knowing her own father. The story is driven by JoEllen and her donor father Jeffrey. Jeffrey, acting as himself, is one of the most charismatic people I have ever seen on screen.

As he reveals his past and his personality to us, we are to make up our own minds as to whether he is a good or a bad guy. Myself? I wanted to sit in his trailer and talk to him for hours. Do not miss Donor Unknown, it is a hidden treasure.

Kelsey Griffin, 21, Chesterfield College, Derbyshire

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5

This was a really good film and took you into the world of donors and their children. When I was told about the plot I thought it was quite similar to another film I had heard about and was pretty sceptical of it, thinking it was trying to live up to the other film's success.

However, when I watched the documentary I realised it was nothing like the other film, and (although it had the same subject choice) was a completely different story.

It really delved into the lives of the families involved in all aspects, from the children's point of view as well as the parents'. It also showed the life of the donor, which was edited well, to show his true life against what other people expected of him.

Jerry Rothwell has done an amazing job. It is quite a difficult subject for people to talk about to begin with and so to be able to show it to a young adult audience and get such positive feedback is very commendable. The work he put into it was spectacular, to get all that footage and information with only himself and a few other crew members.

Donor Unknown includes aspects to entertain, inform and educate. There is also added humour on top of the real-life footage, which helps keep the audience's interest. It was well planned, filmed and edited. It is an uncomfortable subject (for some), made interesting and entertaining, and definitely a success in my sixth-form college.

Thank you to Jerry for taking the time to visit us and showcase your film, as well as answering a few of our questions. It was a superb experience and a chance to get more of an insight into the media industry.

Nicola Mitchell, 17, Retford Post-16 Centre, Nottinghamshire

Filmclub, an educational charity supported by Lovefilm, sets up after- school clubs where children meet to watch, discuss and review thought- provoking films. Each week members of Filmclub will review everything from new releases to classic and world cinema. Free to state schools. Find out more at www.filmclub.orgregister



Director: Ken Loach

Starring: Steve Evets, Eric Cantona, Gerard Kearns

Out now on DVD

Cert: 15

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5

Overall, this film was a new experience for me, and a good one. Ken Loach is famous for films that are about social realism and not over-the-top scripts with an all-star cast of Hollywood actors and actresses. In this movie he stays true to those principles.

The story is about a working-class person called Eric Bishop whose idol since childhood has been football star Eric Cantona. He is also struggling to raise two teenage boys, one of whom is getting involved with a city gang and is finding it difficult to move on from his past.

One night, when he is speaking to a poster of his idol (Eric Cantona), he answers back, and comes to life. The film makes brilliant use of Eric Cantona's philosophical approach to the difficulties of life in helping Eric Bishop overcome his.

This is one of the truest and best films I have seen in a long time.

Bobbak Rabiei, 14, Peacehaven Community School, East Sussex


Director: Kelly Asbury

Starring: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen

Out now on DVD

Cert: U

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5

This fantastic 3D animation is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, except this time it is set in neighbouring gardens with red gnomes on one side of the fence and blue gnomes on the other . and they don't get on.

When the weathervanes change direction, the garden comes alive. There are some great action-packed scenes involving racing lawnmowers, stealth missions, secret meetings and a great scene when the gnomes start attacking each others' gardens.

My favourite part is when Gnomeo and Juliet first meet in a deserted garden; although it's an animation it looks very real. As well as a traditional love story, this film is full of funny jokes and brilliant characters, especially the frog and the pink plastic flamingo. I highly recommend it for children of all ages and that's "gnome" mistake.

Jack Callaghan, 11, Great Bedwyn Primary, Marlborough, Wiltshire.


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