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Selfish Giant

  Unrated HD

Clio Barnard

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Plot Summary

An official selection at the Cannes Film Festival, The Selfish Giant is a contemporary fable about 13 year old Arbor (Conner Chapman) and his best friend Swifty (Shaun Thomas). Excluded from school and outsiders in their own neighborhood, the two boys meet Kitten (Sean Gilder), a local scrap dealer. Wandering their town with just a horse and a cart, they begin collecting scrap metal for him. Swifty has a natural gift with horses while Arbor emulates Kitten – keen to impress him and make some money. However, Kitten favors Swifty, leaving Arbor feeling hurt and excluded, driving a wedge between the boys. As Arbor becomes increasingly greedy and exploitative, tensions build, leading to a tragic event that transforms them all.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 73
  • Fresh: 71
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 8.0/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The nonprofessional actors who play Arbor and Swifty have an easy, unself-conscious rapport, and convey both the bond between the friends and its gradual fraying. – A.O. Scott, New York Times, Dec 19, 2013

Fresh: "The Selfish Giant" is devastating social realism in the mode of Ken Loach's "Kes." – Annlee Ellingson, Los Angeles Times, Dec 27, 2013

Fresh: It's so assured and accomplished, so rigorous on both a human and technical level, and so clearly driven by love for this harsh landscape and its hardened people, that I was entirely swept away by its characters and their story. – Andrew O'Hehir,, Dec 19, 2013

Fresh: Much of the movie is hard to bear, yet it never drags, thanks to the momentum that Barnard finds in the fable, and, above all, to the energy that she unleashes in her young leads. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Jan 13, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Great film

Watched it during the Toronto Film Festival 2013)
Dir. Clio Barnard used non-actors in the leading roles (the 2 young boys where picked from local schools). The story is about super hyper Arbor (most of the time off his meds) and his best friend Swifty. Arbor gets kicked out from school and starts working for a heartless scrap dealer, Swifty tags along. The film is loosely based on an Oscar Wilde story.

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Selfish Giant
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2013

Customer Ratings