Whilst they first gained popularity in Victorian times, the heyday of the British seaside resort came during the 1950s and 1960s. Today, with the rise of foreign packaged holiday and the affordability of air travel, many of these communities are struggling to survive. This feeling of slow rot can provide fertile ground for drama to flourish, as the likes of recent British films Make-Up, VS, Electricity and Jellyfish attest. Nocturnal, the new film from Nathalie Biancheri, follows in their wake.
Pete (Cosmo Jarvis) is a painter-decorator in his 30s living a meagre live in a small Yorkshire seaside town. Women are attracted to by his brutish masculinity but frustrated by his emotional unavailability. He becomes obsessed with Laurie (Lauren Coe), a cynical schoolgirl who has recently moved back to the area from Dublin. The pair build up an unlikely friendship as she tests new boundaries, but his true intentions linger just beneath the surface.
Nocturnal is an assured and considered film which branches off in unusual directions. Jarvis is superb as Pete. A man who normally uses his brawn instead of engaging his brain, struggling to come to terms with new and disturbing emotions. The charisma between the two leads affords an authenticity to the story, whilst Biancheri never allows events to go too far. Nocturnal is a relationship drama with a twist.
Nocturnal is in UK cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema from 18 September.