Joyride review: Olivia Colman shines again
Road trips are a regular go-to for independent films – a relatively cheap setting that allows for natural plot development, as the characters are literally going on a journey. But these films rely on strong performances, and luckily, Joyride ticks that box.
This Irish production stars Charlie Reid as Mully, a young man mourning his mum who runs away from his neglectful father after he tries to steal charity money. He steals a cab for his getaway, only to find another runaway, Joy (Olivia Colman), sleeping in it with a new-born baby. The pair reluctantly agree to travel together, but on the way their goals begin to change.
While the engine may stutter, there’s talent behind the wheel. Reid is a surprisingly layered performer for a boy his age, making a believable duo with Colman who, as always, is terrific. An Irish accent may seem strange on the former Queen Elizabeth, but she masters the script’s mixture of broad comedy and sentiment.
It’s nothing new in terms of story, and director Emer Reynolds isn’t exactly subtle. The premise is established within ten minutes, leaving certain holes in the plot that aren’t really ever addressed. Also, certain music choices can be on the nose, like when “Where’s Your Mama Gone?” plays unironically as they speed down the Irish highways.
The script allows the younger co-star to flesh out his intentions while Colman steals the show by delivering some curt barbs. At just over ninety minutes, Joyride speeds along nicely, eliciting the right emotions at the right time (even if you see them coming). It’s an impressive introduction for Reid, and further confirmation of Colman’s brilliance.
Joyride is in cinemas from 29 July; Read more from City A.M. Culture