Adam & Paul
2004, cert 15, running time 90 minutes
Director: Lenny Abrahamson
Friends since they were small boys, Adam and Paul – and we never learn which is which – have withered into two hapless, desperate Dublin junkies, tied together by habit and necessity. A stylized, downbeat comedy, the film follows the pair through a single day, which, like every other, is entirely devoted to the business of scrounging and robbing money for drugs.
Starring Tom Murphy and Mark O’Halloran.
"The best Irish film I've seen in years."
Derek Malcolm, London Evening Standard
"Abrahamson has made this tragicomic tale his own"
No 3 in Top 5 Films in UK
"I can't remember when I last felt so bad laughing at characters in a film...this is superb stuff"
Glasgow Evening Times
"A bleakly funny picture of indigence on the Liffey"
The Times - 4 out of 5
"an authentic feel of what it's like to be homeless"
What's On In London - 4 out of 5
"Mordantly funny and unexpectedly poignant"
Time Out ( Critic's Choice Film)
"Funny and touching"
Heat - Top 10 Films of the Week
"bleakly hilarious Dublin comedy"
"This filthy pearl from director Lenny Abrahamson and writer/ actor Mark O'Halloran...it is hard to think of another film that ploughs its naturalistic, black comedy so seamlessly or less sympathetically. Highly Recommended"
The List ( selected for the Hit list)
"Among the frothy romcoms of prosperous Ireland one gritty film stands out."
"Astoundingly assured and bleakly comic debut from former commercials director Lenny Abrahamson, Adam and Paul follows the two sweaty strung-out eponymous junkies (rigorously played by writer Mark O'Halloran and Tom Murphy) as they scour the grim-grey underbelly of Dublin city for a life-saving fix. Along the way they bicker, they vomit, they go hungry, they make some inept attempts at robbery, meet some friends, avoid some hostile pushers, and finally, at the 11th hour, score two hefty bags of seemingly heaven-sent heroin.
And though the movie's dark comedic tone is initially disorienting (Loachian social realism with extra slapstick - watch out for the football Paul!) the narrative slowly reveals its own appropriately woozy rhythms, like a loosely assembled set of 'desperate junkie' gags that loudly reference everything from Laurel & Hardy to Midnight Cowboy to Beckett.
While the subtle genius of the movie is that it humanizes two unsympathetic and marginalized protagonists through the use of sly humour rather than didactic social commentary.
4/5 stars - UNCUT
"bright acting, smart script...both funny and moving"
Daily Star - 7/10 stars
"It's a bloody funny buddy movie"
Metro - 4/5 stars (3rd best film of the week in the Critics Top 10)
"if the British authorities had any sense, A&P would be screened in schools...A grown up's film"
"...quite easily the best film to cross the Irish sea...It is a striking film, a magnificent achievement in imagery and performance; I didn't want it to end. But when it does, you'll be as stunned as I was in the final reel."
Leicester Mercury- 5/5 stars
"Enormous credit has to go to the powerful performances"
Mail On Sunday
Channel 4 review
"rarely has such a relentlessly miserable little film left me with such a warm glow"
The Independent On Sunday
"the films gets (it) just right without romanticizing them or coming over all moralistic"
"Nihilistic but entertaining"
"ADAM & PAUL is a beautifully nuanced and rather insightful Irish tragicomedy....beautifully stages moments of visual and verbal comedy rub against bleak and tender fragments of awful reality, balancing humour with something that hints of horror...an unexpected treat.
Mark Kermode New Statesman
"it would be a shame to let it slip past your radar"
Birmingham Post - 4/5 stars
"Made for less than a quarter of a million pounds by a director that did not even get paid ADAM & PAUL is one of the best character driven films of the year. Who needs money when you have got talent."
Birmingham Evening Mail - 4/4 stars
" Brilliantly acted ...the non-narrative drifts from one surreal comic interlude to the next...Someone should lend Shane Meadows a copy "
What's On In Birmingham - 4/5 stars
More details: Adam & Paul website.