What Richard Did (2012 83min.) [Film4 1.25am thursday & +1]
A wealthy teenager manages to seduce another student's girlfriend, but his confidence is shaken by her continuing friendship with her ex. His insecurity results in a violent confrontation that has unforeseen consequences, and leads to his seemingly charmed life rapidly falling apart. Drama, starring Jack Reynor and Roisin Murphy.
Directed by Lenny Abrahamson (who then went on to make the excellent Frank) this sombre and careful character study follows the descent of the title character (superbly played by newcomer Jack Reynor) as he travels from school golden boy to wretched, haunted misfit.
Seen by some as a parable for the journey the national psyche of the Irish nation went through during it's dramatic economic expansion and equally dramatic fall; it's an ensemble piece that relies on mood, atmosphere and some terrific acting by the young cast backed up by a well cast group of supporting adults - Lars Mikkelsen is especially good as Richards dad.
All of the drama comes from the situations that Richard causes by his actions and the film is so well made that we never feel as though we are wallowing in his predicament, but rather the audience is taken along on the fascinating and compelling journey of a haunted young man.
Not much in the way of laughs - but a sturdy and well developed piece of small scale drama.