One mightily strange teenager

Hallam Foe is one mightily strange teenager. And mightily talented too, in his own way. He can pick locks, avoid detection, and has the physical agility of Spiderman engaging in Parkour. All of which would make Hallam Foe the perfect spy. And Hallam Foe is a spy, but not in the espionage sense. He’s a voyeur.

It’s not that Hallam (Jamie Bell) is particularly seedy. The suspicious nature of his mother’s death and his father’s rapid remarriage to Verity (Claire Forlani) has had a major impact on him. It’s a situation made worse by his mixed feelings about Verity; he hates her for his belief that she was responsible for his mother’s death, but his voyeurism draws him towards her glacial beauty and no nonsense sexuality. Hallam departs the family’s loch side estate to make a new life for himself in Edinburgh where the appearance of a woman (Kate, played by Sophia Myles) who looks like his mother starts a whole new chain of events.

Hallam Foe represents Jamie Bell’s finest performance to date. Hallam is a complex individual – a pleasant guy prone to strange behaviour and capable of evil – and Bell captures this with clinical precision. Forlani is perfectly cast whilst Myles and Ewan Bremner (as hotel employee Andy) ensure that there are no weak links in the acting department.

Picking for faults is a tricky task, but there could be an argument in favour of more back story for Kate and Verity. Why does Kate have any interest in Hallam? What motivates Verity’s apparent gold digging? Regardless, Hallam Foe is a brilliant film on par with previous productions from Sigma Films such as Red Road, Manderlay and Dear Wendy.

Follow Clash: