The Old Oak

2023

Action / Drama

17
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 81% · 79 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78% · 50 ratings
IMDb Rating 7.1/10 10 8538 8.5K

Director

Top cast

Micky McGregor as Estate Agent
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU 720p.WEB 1080p.WEB 1080p.WEB.x265
1.02 GB
1280*690
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 53 min
Seeds 61
2.09 GB
1920*1036
English 5.1
NR
24 fps
1 hr 53 min
Seeds 96
1.01 GB
1280*690
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 53 min
Seeds 27
2.08 GB
1916*1032
English 5.1
NR
24 fps
1 hr 53 min
Seeds 45
1.89 GB
1916*1032
English 5.1
NR
24 fps
1 hr 53 min
Seeds 58

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by calorne 7 / 10

A good slice of social commentary on friction and solidarity in small community life.

I thought that Yara and TJ were very good characters. In fact, I'm disappointed to have seen an interview with the actor who played TJ who said that's going to be his one and only film. I'd really like to see him again in more movies. I am sure we will see the actress who played Yara again. I like films that are naturalistic. There are so many films in which conversations are so slick and word perfect and that simply does not reflect real life for most people. Both Yara and TJ were like people that I have met in real life and so I could relate to them very easily in the film..

I've seen criticism of this work based on some characters in the film being "wooden ". But again, people can be pretty wooden in real life and so it is not unreasonable to have that depicted in films here and there. We can't all be as smooth as George Clooney or Meryl Streep.

The character, Charlie put me in mind of Mark Kermode (due to his looks, not his conduct). To me, he was very much like Mark Kermode with a grey rinse.

I thought that the actor who played the electrician was very good and very reminiscent of contractors I have met.

I found the film moving and engaging.

Reviewed by frankde-jong 7 / 10

Unfortunately too idealistic to be true

According to himself "The old oak" is his last film. Not very strange if you consider that Ken Loach is already 87 years of age. He already made films when I was hardly born and in the meantime I am nearly sixty now.

"The old oak" (2023) is the last episode of the "austerity trilogy" (all films situated in or around Newcastle upon Tyne). In the first episode "I, Daniel Blake" (2016) a poor man struggles against government bureaucracy. In the second episode "Sorry we missed you" (2019) the main character is misled to become a fake entrepeneur but in reality is a worker without the usual rights.

"The old oak" is about poor people (workers in a region that economically has never recovered from the closing of coal mines) that are obliged to live together with other poor people (Syrian refugees).

Loach treats this theme with much more idealism (and sentimentality) than the raw reality and unhappy endings of the previous two episodes of the "austerity trilogy". The main character, pub owner T. J. Ballantyne (Dave Turner), is almost too good to be true and to a great extent he succeeds in bringing the local and Syrian communities together. Of course there are a few old men in the cast that turn out to be incurable racists, but they seem to have lost their feeling with society.

Keeping hope is important, but nevertheless is "The old oak" in my opinion the weakest film of the austerity trilogy". Not only contrasts the idealism of the film with the raw reality of the two other episodes, it also contrasts with the political reality of the moment. I am not only thinking of the results of the recent elections in the Netherlands (victory for a populist party that is fiercly anti immagration) but also about the immagration policy in the Netherlands (and Europe wide) in which immigrants are treated as dangerous people that ought to be minimized instead of as people in need that ought to be helped.

The four racists in the film have unfortunately not lost their feeling with society but are perfectly in sync with it. The "Oppressed people of all nations unite" of "The old oak" sounds very much like the Socialist slogan "Workers of all countries unite" from before the First World War. It didn't work then, and I am afraid it won't work now.

The film reminded me very much of "Le Havre" (2011, Aki Kaurismâki). Did the excess of idealism of this film irritate me also? I don't remember exactly, it is a long time ago, but I don't think so. The films of Aki Kaurisämik have more of a fairy-tale nature than those of Ken Loach.

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