What to Watch This Weekend: Chicken
Directed by Joe Stephenson, Chicken makes its US premiere right here at the New Hampshire Film Festival!
Expected to be an up and coming film of this season, don’t miss this family drama about two brothers stuck between settling down and moving on. Young love, a traveling circus, and a chicken named Fiona make this British feature a must-see.
Catch it Saturday, 5:25 at the Music Hall!
Information about NHFF passes here.
London director Joe Stephenson, who is making his cinematic directorial debut with this film, will be in attendance for the screening with lead actor Scott Chambers. The film will screen at The Music Hall at 5:25 p.m., on Saturday, Oct. 17, and will be followed by a Q&A with Stephenson and Chambers.
Chicken is a film adapted from a play of the same name written by Freddie Machin. Chris New (who starred in critically acclaimed film Weekend) joined Machin to co-write the screenplay for the film.
The film follows Richard (Scott Chambers), a 15-year-old boy with learning difficulties. Richard, who has a pet chicken named Fiona, longs to put down roots, but Richard’s restless and destructive brother, Polly (Morgan Watkins), needs to keep moving. When a new landowner buys the land they live on, their already precarious living conditions get even worse. Then a chance meeting with the new landowner’s daughter, 17-year-old Annabel (Yasmin Page), leaves Richard besotted, whilst Polly befriends the guys who run a seedy traveling fair. For better or worse, Richard’s life is about to change forever.
Young London actors who are stirring up quite a buzz play the film’s three lead roles. Chambers played the same lead role in the live theater production of Chicken at the Southwark Playhouse in London in 2011, and this is his debut feature film performance. Page was nominated “Most Promising Newcomer” at the British Independent Film Awards for the BAFTA-nominated film Submarine. Watkins most recently appeared alongside Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter in Suffragette, and alongside Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson in Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Chicken debuted at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in June. The film was praised by heavyweights Sir Ian McKellen (Actor, Lord of the Rings, X-Men), Stephen Frears (Director, Philomena, The Queen) and Karen Gillan (Actor, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Who). Reviewer Jamie Neish of CineVue noted, “Increasing in potency as the slow-burn narrative unravels, Chicken in an assured and delicately compelling debut.”
The New Hampshire Film Festival is proud to be giving US audiences their very first look at this film, which is expected to be a breakout film for Stephenson. Stephenson’s next project is the as-yet-untitled Noel Coward biopic starring Sir Ian McKellen, Vanessa Redgrave, Jonathan Pryce and Chris Colfer (in the title role as Noel Coward).
Accolades for Chicken:
“AN ASTONISHING DEBUT… FULL OF FUN, HUMANITY AND HOPE… INTRIGUING, ENCHANTING, MOVING”
— Sir Ian McKellen
“A STRIKING YOUNG DIRECTOR”
— Stephen Frears (Philomena, The Queen)
“SCOTT CHAMBERS DESERVES AN OSCAR FOR HIS PERFORMANCE”
— Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Who)
“A VISUALLY STUNNING DEBUT; CHAMBERS’ PERFORMANCE MAY WELL BE THE BEST THIS YEAR”
“AN EMOTIONAL TRIUMPH!”
— Candid Magazine
“ONE OF THE BEST PERFORMANCES I’VE EVER SEEN”
— Noel Clarke (Star Trek Into Darkness, Doctor Who)
“A STRIKING DEBUT THAT IS AS TOUCHING AS IT IS DEVASTATING”
“****A MAJOR NEW BRITISH TALENT”
— Thoughts On Film