So this week has really been something hasn’t it? If, like me, you’re craving some relief from the seemingly unremitting doom, A Street Cat Named Bob might just be the film to watch to give you a lift.
Based on the hugely successful memoir by James Bowen, A Street Cat Named Bob follows James (Luke Treadaway), who is a homeless busker in London on a programme to try and come off heroin. After a particularly nasty overdose, his case worker Val (Joanne Froggatt) manages to get him placed in temporary accommodation, where he encounters a stray cat who helps him find success and potentially even love.
The film, adapted for the screen by Tim John and Maria Nation, isn’t necessarily the most mind-blowing thing in the world, but it does a good job at showing some of the issues faced by some of the country’s most vulnerable people. It also shines a pretty grim light on what people consider those who are poor or more vulnerable are capable of. On the other hand, it does a lot of light comedy via Bob the cat, and the empowerment that comes from being seen.
Performance-wise, the film is pretty much stolen by Bob (who plays himself with the assistance of some doubles) who is just a massively cute and endearing screen presence. Treadaway’s performance as James feels really natural, and he is a similarly sympathetic screen presence. Froggatt does a great tough-love performance as his support worker, Ruta Gedmintas (Treadaway’s real life girlfriend) does good work with the character of Betty, James’ potential love interest, which could be a character that is rather flat. Finally, Anthony Head’s performance as James’ father had me be a bit of a mess by the end of the film.
I would really recommend you see this; it’s a film that leaves you uplifted and wanting to buy a Big Issue, which is no bad thing.