We first meet Ben (RUPERT GINT), a shy, bookish 17-year old, as he begins a very unpromising summer vacation. While the other kids are out having fun, Ben spends these precious few weeks attending Bible classes, having driving lessons with his overbearing and overly religious mother (Laura Linney) and helping out at a local old people's home. It's certainly not his ideal summer but, with a demanding, vigilant mother and a passive vicar for a father, Ben is anything but in control of his own destiny. Ben's absurdly straitlaced world is turned upside down when he gets a job assisting Evie (Julie Walters), an eccentric retired actress. . . . What follows is a journey in which Ben and Evie help each other move forward in their radically different lives, as Ben is forced to confront how he was brought up and who he wants to be.
How some people in Hollywood find the courage to stand up to the Christianists again and again is one of the great and beautiful mysteries of our culture. All across the globe, Christians are perpetrating terrible crimes right now: blowing up buildings, bombing hotels and markets, kidnapping and decapitating prisoners, stoning homosexuals and sexually active girls, forcing heathens to convert at the barrel of a gun. The fortitude it requires of our artists to take these people on . . . well, what more can you say?
Only this: You may understand the personal bravery it takes to make a movie which exposes the oafish hypocrisy of Christian zealots, but what you may not fully appreciate is the professional courage involved. Writer/director Jeremy Brock is risking his career to tell an unconventional story like this. The religious nutcases who run the entertainment industry squash nearly every attempt to portray believers as anything but saints.
Mr. Brock might never be able to work again. Hero just isn't a big enough word.