The Independent Recommends: Film

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HAL HARTLEY, the arch chronicler of small-town angst, grows up with Henry Fool (left), a gleefully scatalogical fable about the friendship between a visionary stranger and a lowly garbage man. Losing his ironic cool, at last, Hartley creates his first full-blooded hero in the wonderfully rambunctious and flawed figure of Henry, played to perfection by Thomas Jay Ryan.

On limited release

Peter Mullen gives the screen performance of the year as an alcoholic who coaches the worst football team in Glasgow in Ken Loach's blistering working-class melodrama, My Name is Joe. When Joe meets community health visitor Sarah (Louise Goodall), hope and romance bloom, but Joe's attempts to protect one of his young players from the mob's local debt collectors lead the couple into dark territory. An unflinching portrait of lives lived on the social and economic margins, shot through with humour and humanity.

On general release