November 30, 2012, 12:19am
SITCOM STALWARTS Alice Lowe and Steve Oram star in Sightseers, the new comedy from feted indie director, Ben Wheatley.
The pair play fledgling lovebirds Chris and Tina, who desert Tina’s vindictive mother Carol and set out on a road trip across England’s green and pleasant land in their treasured Abbey Oxford caravan.
Along the way, they take in the Keswick Pencil Museum, Crich Tramway Village and a number of other quaint destinations – each of which bears witness to the pair’s less-than-savoury approach to holiday making.
Accidents seem to follow Chris and Tina, and before long the bodies are piling up at an alarming rate, though they seem more concerned with parking spaces, gift shop prices and the regional availability of Tina’s favourite pasta sauce.
It’s a decidedly offbeat film, and one whose disquieting characters, odd soundtrack choices and occasional fits of graphic violence might ordinarily deny it mainstream appeal. But Sightseers finds a saving grace in its fearless, wicked sense of humour. As Tina’s scheming, manipulative mother, Eileen Davis is particularly funny.
Packed with surprises, Wheatley, Lowe and Oram’s creation deserves pride of place in this year’s UK cinema canon, if only because it refuses to conform to any established model. And in the landscape of British filmmaking, swamped as it is with knock-off Shaun of the Deads and would-be Bridget Jones’s Diaries, that’s a rare trait indeed.