Raining Stones


Action / Comedy / Drama


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May 19, 2015 at 09:42 AM


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703.01 MB
Not Rated
24.000 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 1 / 11
1.24 GB
Not Rated
24.000 fps
1hr 30 min
P/S 1 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Spikeopath 8 / 10

When you are a worker, it rains stones seven days a week.

Raining Stones is directed by Ken Loach and written by Jim Allen. It stars Bruce Jones, Julie Brown, Ricky Tomlinson, Tom Hickey, Mike Fallon and Jonathan James. Music is by Stewart Copeland and cinematography by Barry Ackroyd.

Northern England and as unemployment bites hard, Bob (Jones) frets about finding the money for his daughter's communion dress...

It's classical Loach, an awareness of the lower to working class lifestyle during a politically turbulent time. As is the great director's want, realism leaps out from every frame, earthy humour is evident and Loach draws you into his kitchen sink world with ease. Raining Stones has no political agenda as such, it's primary focus is the people, specifically examining how a basically honest hard working man has pride in abundance but little brains in accompaniment. And we all know what pride comes before...

The structure is simple, an hour of film lets us know the principal players, their surroundings and their beliefs. Humour dominates the narrative at this point, be it nutty ideas like stealing a sheep off of the Moors to sell to the butcher - Bob's date with a sewer drain - and Tommy (Tomlinson) showing his ass and genitals to an overhead police helicopter! There are scenes and snatches of dialogue that genuinely bring the laughs. Yet lurking in the background is the palpable sense of things about to turn bad, which is the case of course, and the film shifts for its last third into dramatic thriller mode.

Religion is a feature, but again it's not something that Loach wants to use as a tool for head beating. In fact it's refreshing that the portrayal of Father Barry (Hickey excellent), who is the glue that binds his unemployed flock together, is not about pious pontificating, he's very aware of the times and happy to share a glass of whiskey with Bob and offer up some surprising advice. Cast performances are across the board great, something which is another trait of Loach's direction, while Ackroyd's photography around the Middleton, Rochdale locale is suitable stripped back to reveal a climate of struggle.

A must for anyone with a kink for Loach's type of story telling, Raining Stones is another fine entry on his considerable CV. 8/10

Reviewed by Howard Schumann 8 / 10

A natural and convincing story about the traps of poverty and the spirit of the poor

Bob (Bruce Jones) is on the dole. With barely enough money to pay his rent, he is still determined to buy his daughter Coleen (Gemma Phoenix) a new dress for Communion, an investment of a few hundred pounds. The truth of the characters and an authentic script by Jim Allen lifts Ken Loach's 1993 drama Raining Stones out of the ordinary and makes it a human document of considerable strength. Bob's spirit propels the story and allows us to root for him as he tries to overcome his failure to find the means to fulfill his wishes for his daughter.

As the film opens, Bob and his friend Tommy (Tomlinson) steal a sheep from the countryside but cannot bring themselves to kill it. Instead they bring it to the butcher who tells them that it is mutton, not lamb and it is worthless to him. When they attempt to sell it piece-by-piece at the local tavern, they leave the keys in the ignition and Bob's van is stolen. Bob goes from one misadventure to another, from stealing sod from a golf course for a landscape gardener to a one-night stand as a bouncer at a local pub that ends up with him getting beaten and losing his job in the process. One of the funniest scenes takes place at the local church where Bob is forced into donating his services to clean their drains and ends up only with thanks from the pastor and a bucket full of dirt on his clothes. Supporting Bob is a supportive pastor (Tom Hickey), who urges him to rent a dress at a reduced cost, and his wife Anne (Julie Brown) who stands with him in periods of distress.

The second part of the film centers around Bob's efforts to raise the necessary cash to buy the dress and his unfortunate choice of borrowing the money and having to deal with a loan shark that gets him and his family into serious trouble. The script by Jim Allen rings true although, without subtitles, much of the dialogue is drowned in regional accents. Raining Stones builds to a powerful ending with an unforced naturalism that makes us feel for the characters as human beings, not as symbols of a society that has turned its back on its poorest members.

Reviewed by desperateliving 9 / 10


Like many, I often found the accents hard to decipher. But I think it speaks to Loach's formidable talent that it's never really in question as to what's happening: we get the story in visible strokes, and we get the emotional feeling in the most minute, detailed way possible. To use a cliched phrase, it has the drama of life, and Loach has a loving touch, even though the outer view of his work is rough and hard: he doesn't separate the funny bits from the painful bits, he lets it all run together. And despite the fact that some find him an "uncinematic" director, I think that's mostly baloney. No, he doesn't impress with his visuals, but that doesn't mean that they're uncinematic; he's working in a way that's more interested in recording emotions (and he still tells a story) and that is cinematic.

The film espouses a wonderful philosophy -- love and prayer is enough. Yet while the film is sympathetic to the emphasis the family places on communion (getting into Heaven), at times it feels like a condemnation of Catholic greed and pie-in-the-sky fantasies of those relying on God to solve their earthly troubles -- after all, He doesn't buy communion dresses. I think that's why the film works so well. It never spells out how intelligent it is, because that's not Loach's intention. Yet what he does is incredibly smart. (Likewise, you can see the politics behind the film, and that's why they work, too: they're behind it, not in your face.) The ending might seem a little too cheery (though cheery is perhaps the wrong word), but I think it works in the tradition of great humanism: things WILL be alright in the end, if you just believe. And because it's humanism, it's true: everything else might be awful, but you're alive, you have a family, you're fighting to go on: that's wonderful.

Loach makes a brilliant choice with the car crash, because it solves something and yet it makes the moral universe of the film more complex: Is he scott free now? Who is the bad guy here? And Loach of course includes the most pragmatic priest in the movies -- pray for the worthless soul as any good Christian would, but realize that he who causes fear in the hearts of good people is not a life worth wrecking yours over. Consider the car crash an act of God (which indirectly benefits God, by supporting a family of followers), rewarding he who believes yet still exists in the practical world trying to make things work (he who doesn't just lay around waiting for God to save him). THIS is Catholic cinema. I'm agnostic, and this touched my soul. It gets at the roots of what real religion does, or is supposed to do: heal, protect, love -- not preach, frighten, or intimidate. So I think even though he opts for a "faith" film (that is, he does not offer a text book on how to solve your problems), Loach's "realism" and pragmatic philosophy still suggests that the everyday is important -- keep at it. It's what leads to the faith, it's what's needed for the faith to work. 9/10

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