Jellyfish (2018) Movie Review

Director: James Gardner

Writer: James Gardner, Simon Lord (Screenplay)

Starring: Liv Hill, Sinead Matthews, Cyril Nri, Angus Barnett, Tomos Eames, Victoria Alcock, Helen Kennedy, Robbie White

Plot: A young carer discovers an unlikely talent for stand-up comedy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Tragic & Heart Breaking

Story: Jellyfish starts as we meet school student Sarah Taylor (Hill) who is in struggling through her drama classes, taking care of her young siblings, while trying to work to give them any sort of extra money, her mother Karen (Matthews) is unemployed suffering from a mental illness.

When Sarah’s teacher Adam Hale (Nri) sees her talent for comedy, he pushes her into trying stand up comedy for a show, just when Sarah’s life starts to fall apart, with her losing her job and the family losing their benefits because of her mother not attending her meetings. Sarah is left needing to turn to darker sides of her life, to make sure her siblings stay with her and don’t get put into the foster system.

Thoughts on Jellyfish

Characters – Sarah is a 15-year-old girl that must look after her younger siblings, while her mother is struggling with her own mental illnesses, Sarah is trying to get through her GCSEs, working part time and being the only adult in her house, she is facing a future that isn’t going to happen unless things change quickly, everything is slowly piling up on her, with life situations she shouldn’t have put on her. Karen in the mother who has been suffering through depression making it difficult for her to even get out of the house to keep the benefits coming in. Adam Hale is the drama teacher that does see some potential in Sarah, he encourages her to find her talent for comedy, being supportive, where nobody else is. Vince is the boss that is trying to be strict, he gives Sarah chances unaware of her problems at home, even if he ends up being like any boss who hasn’t gotten more out of their own life.

PerformancesLiv Hill gives us one of the strongest performances you will ever see, from every expression of pain she is going through, to just holding in the explosion of emotion that wants to come out of her. Sinead Matthews does make her character look like she is struggling with life. The rest of the supporting cast are strong, they all let Liv take the centre stage.

StoryThe story here shows a 15-year-old that must take care of her younger siblings, manager school life and work life just to keep a roof over their heads. This is a story that will put a startling light on how some children will be living and just what they will need to do to get through each day, it shows the poverty line in England and how people will often not even give you the time of day to see what is wrong with somebody’s life, with only one person trying to offer support to Sarah. We see just how desperate she has become to make sure the family stays together even going against the law in her attempts. You will find yourself being incredibly moved by the struggles of Sarah and watching her slowly see her life unravel makes you want to help her.

SettingsThe film is set in Margate a small coast town that doesn’t have the luxury life many people living there would have, it shows that small towns don’t offer big futures for people.


Scene of the Movie – The routine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Is drama the only class Sarah takes?

Final Thoughts This is one of the most emotionally charged movies you will see, we have a truly brilliant performance that will leave you feeling heart broken by what Sarah goes through, a must watch.

Overall: Brilliant.

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