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Skeletons (NC)

The spirit of Charlie Kaufman lives but doesn't quite soar in this eccentric metaphysical comedy from Nick Whitfield.

Two professional operatives, Davis (Ed Gaughan) and Bennett (Andrew Buckley), visit people's houses investigating the "skeletons" in their cupboards and by a mysterious process of divination they retrieve hidden memories. But is this a useful service or not? Davis, a stickler for rules, has recently gone off-piste and begun raiding his own private memory bank, a habit which the daughter (Tuppence Middleton) of a client seems to have mastered for herself. Skeletons started life as a short film and hasn't wholly succeeded in its transition to full-length feature; there's a sluggishness in the pacing and a very thin yield of laughs. Yet there's something to celebrate in Whitfield's willingness to try something different – to twist conventions into unexpected shapes. The double-act of Gaughan and Buckley is nicely worked, and Tuppence Middleton is surely too vivid a presence to be held back by her silly name.