Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael, The (2005) - Synopsis

Set in the English coastal town of Newhaven, as the shadow of the 2003 Gulf War looms large, The Great Ecstasy of Robert Carmichael is the story of disaffected youth in the UK as seen through the eyes of the eponymous teenager, a lonely, awkward boy who falls in with the wrong crowd. Despite obvious academic prowess and a talent for playing the cello, Robert begins experimenting with drugs. His behaviour becomes increasingly erratic until, on one fateful night, he and two friends lose all touch with the reality of the outside world.

25-year-old director Thomas Clay's extraordinary film features the beautiful and stately camerawork of acclaimed DP Yorgos Arvanitis (ETERNITY & A DAY, MA SOEUR!) and startlingly assured performances from newcomers Dan Spencer, Ryan Winsley and Charles Mnene alongside established acting talents Danny Dyer (THE FOOTBALL FACTORY, THE BUSINESS) and Lesley Manville (VERA DRAKE, ALL OR NOTHING).