Sunday, 7 November 2010


Davis and Bennett are agents for a company known as Veridical, whose business it is to remove skeletons from people’s closets, performing a new age ritual before embarking upon a time-travelling fact-finding mission. One such assignment puts the boys to work at the countryside house of Jane Baron, a presumed widow who has resorted to digging up the grounds to find her missing husband. Jane’s taciturn daughter Rebecca, upset by the men’s presence, tries to disrupt the procedure to preserve the memory of her father, while Davis’ prickly disposition and preoccupation with a snapshot of his own past keep him from doing the job properly. When the investigation comes to a head, both men realise how much of themselves they sacrifice by exploring other people’s pasts.

Developed from a ten-minute short, Skeletons is a surprisingly successful mix of uniquely British humour and sincere existentialism, fostered by a team of people who clearly cared for their creation. First-time director Nick Whitfield is cautiously subtle with the set-up and the eventual pay-off, and the motif of Davis’ treasured memory is a sentimental touch, rather than the fairground attraction it would have been in Inception. Comic duo Ed Gaughan and Andrew Buckley, in the roles of Veridical’s metaphorical ghostbusters, work brilliantly off each other, both rotund (in conflict with the film’s title) but vastly contrasting in personality. There are points in the film where one wishes the edits would slow down, but ultimately the film affords enough room for every type of moviegoer.

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