Its strengths are Laura Dennett's attentive location shooting - reframing a thin slip of coastline on the Firth of Forth as alternately a picturesque wonder or the world's end, depending on Brian's mood - and Guthrie's central performance as a lad who's not entirely beyond hope. Too often, however, Edmond forces him into scenes that overcrank just how close Brian is to the edge: you lose track of the number of times he's seen wobbling around on the local clifftops, and there's a comical evocation of a seniors' day care centre - oldsters! Eating Hobnobs! With dentures! - as a kind of hell on earth. This century's most accomplished screen depiction of suicidal tendencies, Joachim Trier's Oslo, August 31st, understood that depression is most often experienced as a small blue thing nagging and eating away at sufferers from the inside out. You could argue it's almost too ordinary and internalised a subject for the cinema - it's certainly a difficult one to do right by, as Edmond's hamfisted finale, with its vague overtones of the M. Night Shyamalan canon, demonstrates: let's just say it's a risky choice to end a movie tackling male depression on such a serious downer, sending the viewer out into the night with a lacklustre cover of "Blue Christmas" ringing in our ears. It's possible someone will recognise aspects of themselves in Brian, and that the film will serve as a conversation starter, perhaps even a lifeline - but it's stretched perilously thin in places, and in others appears horribly snagged.
Connect is now playing in selected cinemas.