Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of winsome Scottish pop band Belle and Sebastian, has made his first feature film, God Help the Girl, and it’s every bit as fey and whimsical as you would expect, a wispy musical fable in which a trio of arty, pretty youngsters run around a dreamy summertime Glasgow singing Murdoch’s arty, pretty songs.
Anyone who is brought out in hives by Murdoch’s brand of pop will undoubtedly be itching to slap his threesome – Emily Browning’s talented but troubled Australian, Eve, an aspiring singer-songwriter whose emotional problems have landed her in hospital; Olly Alexander’s effete wimp James, endlessly theorising about what makes the perfect pop song when not chastely mooning after Eve; and Hannah Murray’s amiably posh English girl Cassie, who completes the line up of the fledgling band they form.
But fans of Belle and Sebastian – many of whom actually funded the film’s making via Kickstarter – will be in heaven. Those viewers who fall somewhere in between may well be charmed, too, not least by a bittersweet playfulness that recalls both Bill Forsyth’s Gregory’s Girl and Godard’s Bande à part.
Certificate 15. Runtime 112 mins. Director Stuart Murdoch.
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