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Benjamin

In Simon Amstell’s affecting, bittersweet comedy, a rising young filmmaker is thrown into emotional turmoil by a burgeoning romance and the upcoming premiere of his second feature.

Dir-Scr Simon Amstell
Prod Dominic Dromgoole, Alexandra Breede, Louise Simpson
With Colin Morgan, Phénix Brossard, Joel Fry
UK
2018
85min
UK Distribution Signature Entertainment

The clue is in the film-within-the-film’s title: No Self. It’s perhaps no surprise that the imminent release of Benjamin’s sophomore feature plunges him into existential crisis. In this heightened state of insecurity, even meeting his potential dream match, young French musician Noah, doesn’t soothe Benjamin’s fears and self-loathing. And that’s before he has to screen his film to the merciless audiences of the BFI London Film Festival… Amstell is working in a low-key, intimate vein here, exposing the contradictions of a London-centric creative culture whilst adroitly balancing drama and comedy. If it’s less suggestively autobiographical than his TV series Grandma’s House (Colin Morgan makes an endearing doppelgänger here), it’s also more cinematic and shows Amstell’s growing confidence as a skilled and nuanced filmmaker.

Leigh Singer

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