A Street Cat Named Bob Review
Director: Roger Spottiswoode.
I'm actually really surprised, recognising Roger Spottiswoode's name but totally forgetting he was the director behind The 6th Day, James Bond's Tomorrow Never Dies and another animal buddy movie, Turner & Hooch. I haven't seen any of his work since The 6th Day and I'm not sure why, but I'm surprised to find him behind the camera for this one. Maybe because it's a British film of a British story, me possibly expecting a Brit to be director? Regardless, he's a great choice as director, especially with his experience of working with animals on film.
This one being a stray ginger tomcat that gets named Bob after finding recovering drug-addict, James Bowen, played brilliant by Luke Treadaway. Now, this busker and Bob is somewhat of a London legend, how the two become inseparable and skirt about town busking and selling magazines on the streets of touristy London, hitting national and local papers and well, the outcome is fairly obvious, book deal and a film to boot.
Though there were quite a few cats used to play the part of Bob, it is nice to know that the real Bob actually did quite a bit of filming. Him being the real life littlest hobo that gladly doesn't choose to move on. And the real life James Bowen getting his rightly deserved cameo with a clever line of dialogue.
Working with animals is something you get warned about when on set but Spottiswoode certainly has a majesty way of capturing the character of our furry friends whether it be a Dogue De Bordeaux or a polar bear cub. It can't be an easy task and most have taken dozens of takes to get the right frame and the editing is superbly done with animal POV perspectives and clever camera work.
Treadaway gives a brilliant, believable and powerful performance conveying the hopelessness, torment and desperation effortlessly. Ruta Gedmintas also adding some colour to the film supported by some good British casting. It's amazing to watch the bond form between Bob and James as they both tend to each other.
Another two elements that stand out about this film is the music, the busking songs performed by Treadaway himself, which help tell the story though slightly disappointed it's music written for the film and not songs original to the busking, though, the songs are catchy and full of heart, much like the movie. The other element being London itself, the sights and the not so nice parts of the city actually give a real feel, either though bleak.
What's so magical about this story is that it has come to this, and that it's a true story of hope, companionship and cosmic justice. It's heartfelt, touching and feel good; Perfectly paced, enchanting and enjoyable. Not just a movie for cat fans.
Running Time: 9
The Cast: 8
Job Description: 10
The Extra Bonus Point: 10 for Bob, and his and James' incredible story.
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: Yes.