2014 is the year former Skins star Jack O’Connell will break off into the limelight. Not only does he star in the swords and sandals sequel 300: Rise of and Empire, he’s also playing the lead role in Unbroken, Angelina Jolie’s first film as director. But before the British film industry loses him forever to Hollywood, they managed to squeeze one last independent film out of him.
In Starred Up, he plays a right jack-the-lad who moves into big-boy prison after spending most of his adolescence in young offenders institutes. His father (Ben Mendelsohn) is a career crook serving life in prison. He pretty much runs the gaff and tries to convince his son to stay out of trouble. But you know: some people just won’t listen to good advice.
We saw this movie at the London Film Festival last year, where it played in competition to great acclaim. O’Connell’s searing performance is nothing short of remarkable — especially from an actor his age. As we said, he’s destined for bigger and better things so make sure you see him here first.
Starred Up opens in cinemas 21 March