The movie

Ali & Ava

Writer-director Clio Barnard (‘The Selfish Giant’) has called her absolutely lovely film a ‘social-realist musical’, which is a very apt description for this working-class, Bradford-set tale of an odd-couple romance.

Length: 95 min
Country: Groot-Brittannië
Language spoken: Engels
Language subtitles: Nederlands
Cast: Adeel Akhtar, Claire Rushbrook
Director: Clio Barnard
Release date: 2021

Description

Writer-director Clio Barnard (‘The Selfish Giant’) has called her absolutely lovely film a ‘social-realist musical’, which is a very apt description for this working-class, Bradford-set tale of an odd-couple romance. Ali (Adeel Akhtar) is a good-humoured and committed landlord. When he picks up the child of one of his tenants from school, he offers Ava (Claire Rushbrook), an Irish-born teacher and single mother of five, a ride. They instantly click because of their shared love of music, even though Ali's tastes differ from Ava's. A relationship blossoms that is soon overshadowed by the traces of Ava's previous relationship and the breakdown of Ali's marriage… An optimistic romance set in the austere former industrial city of Bradford, the film features a soundtrack ranging from The Specials and Bob Dylan to recent club and pop hits that adds to the energetic atmosphere. ‘A pair of wonderfully winning performances from Claire Rushbrook and Adeel Akhtar lie at the heart of this unexpectedly warm and typically compelling drama… Playing out over the course of a lunar month, and drawing inspiration from real-life characters… “Ali & Ava” is a vibrant work that uses the transcendent power of song to turn a streetwise tale into a diegetic musical, with genuinely surprising results.’—Mark Kermode, The Observer