Keswick Film Club - Make Up

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Sunday 20th September 5:00 PM

Make Up 

Director: Claire Oakley Country: UK
Cert: 15 Year: 2019 Length: 86 mins
Make Up

Programme Notes

Cinema Handout (PDF 115KB)

Audience Reaction

Score: 61.21% Attendance: 54





Molly Windsor plays Ruth here, fresh from her role as the eldest child in 'The Runaways', the opener at our last Festival. Stand by for a very different role for her here...

Finally considered old enough to be away from home by her parents, 18 year old Ruth has come to this deserted caravan site in Cornwall's winter to get a job and be with her long term boyfriend Tom. So we enter this dark, middle world of youth turning adult; she is between two chapters of her life, as the caravan site is between seasons. Being unsure of herself, she finds a friend in Jade, a fellow worker, who offers her help and a makeover, painting her bitten nails red...but is there more going on here than we see at first?

This is writer-director Claire Oakley's first feature film, for which she has got all-round good reviews: "She has taken the template of arthouse Brit realism and audaciously spiked it with some genre thrills, as if Ken Loach collaborated with Brian De Palma or Nicolas Roeg" – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian. "Claire Oakley's assured debut is all about liminal spaces, both physical and mental, the places and feelings that hang eerily between the concrete and the comforting....Oakley keeps things taut as time seems to slip sideways for Ruth, things half remembered or imagined bright, like those nails, in her memory. There's nothing liminal about Oakley's talents, she has firmly arrived" – Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film. [In case you, like me, don’t know what 'liminal' means, the Google definition is – "occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold"!]

"With cinematographer Nick Cooke, Oakley finds the bracingly different aspects of the Cornish landscape: ominous in the darkness, wild in the sunshine and menacing in the cold, as distant sea spray mixes with the cloud cover. It’s a clever and expertly made movie; Oakley luxuriates in its winter chill" – Peter Bradshaw again.

A coming-of-age movie, then, but one wrapped up in a spooky seaside thriller which results in a stylish psychological drama. Given Molly Windsor had gone down well at the Festival, we couldn't resist having 'Make Up' here.

If all that isn't enough, this is another Triple F-rated movie (female director, writer and star). What more can we ask for?


open_quote This magnificently unsettling British debut is a serious calling card for writer-director Claire Oakley. close_quote Philip De Semlyen, Time Out

open_quote Revealing a new filmmaker with a truly fresh perspective and an exciting future ahead. close_quote Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

open_quote Make Up is a lean, sensory, genre-defying delight, and a welcome deep dive into the painted face of the teenage female psyche. close_quote Sophie Butcher, One Room With A View

open_quote An early contender for the best British film of the year. close_quote Backseat Mafia



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Keswick Film Club won the Best New Film Society at the British Federation Of Film Societies awards in 2000.

Since then, the club has won Film Society Of The Year and awards for Best Programme four times and Best Website twice.

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