Beautiful Thing

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Beautiful Thing ★★★ 1995 (R)

Sweet, fairytalish, gay coming-of-age story set in a working-class southeast London housing estate. Shy teenager Jamie (Berry) lives with his barmaid mum, Sandra (Henry), and her lover, Tony (Daniels). Next-door is his best mate, the stoic Ste (Neal), who's regularly abused by his father and brother. But when things get too bad, he sleeps over with Jamie. And one night, nature hesitantly takes its course. Their tarttongued, Mama Cass fanatic, friend Leah (Empson) starts rumors about the twosome that lead to some uneasy (but ultimately conciliatory) confrontations. Fine performances; Harvey adapted from his play. 89m/C VHS, DVD . GB Glen Berry, Scott Neal, Linda Henry, Tameka Empson, Ben Daniels; D: Hettie Macdonald; W: Jonathan Harvey; C: Chris Seager.