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Better Things 15 rating

Duane Hopkins’ stunning debut tells a sombre story with startling beauty, as it follows the stories of various addicts in a West Midlands town.

Drama 2009 90 mins

Director: Duane Hopkins


Duane Hopkins’ stunning debut established him as a major new talent in British cinema. With a multi-stranded narrative it follows the stories of a range of young and old addicts in a West Midlands town.

Despite its sombre narrative, what’s so impressive is the startling beauty Hopkins marries to such uncompromising material. The combination of harsh reality with poetic visuals can also be seen in the works of Hopkins’ contemporaries Lynne Ramsay and Steve McQueen, and together their work suggests an evolution of the traditional forms of British social realism. Winner of several international film prizes, Better Things was also nominated for the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.