I recently watched Spivs, the cast of which included Ken Stott, Linda Bassett, Kate Ashfield, Jack Dee, Paul Kaye, Dominic Monaghan, Roshan Seth, Nick Moran. Little known Rita Ora and Christos Zenonos played Rosanna and Anton, two illegal immigrant children, and I think they may have excellent acting careers ahead of them.
Spivs may appear to concentrate on the wheeling and dealing of London east-enders Jack, Steve and Goat, but it quickly turns into the story of a life change for Jack. As they find themselves inadvertently embroiled with a bunch of gangsters when a lorry container unexpectedly contains illegal immigrants, two of the illegal immigrants remain – both children – and fall into Jack's hands. He faces up to responsibility and does what he can for them. He also has to deal with the evil gangster Villa, who is obviously upset that he lost his precious cargo.
There are scenes of comedy, but also some very touching scenes. When Jack turns up on Auntie Vee's (Bassett) doorstep with the children, she quickly tells him that no spiv retired with millions under their belt and points out what is missing in his life. Linda Bassett – who I haven't seen on screen in a long while – was simply excellent in her role as Auntie Vee. And, as noted earlier the actors playing the children were also excellent in all scenes, whether with Bassett, Stott, or on their own.
For something with a bit of comedy in it, it all gets rather sad and real.
Interesting to see both Jack Dee and Paul Kaye in it, too. Neither overplayed their roles and both were very credible.
Stott delivers his usual high-quality Stott-standard performance as a man changed when forced to confront the realities of life, as opposed to the next spiv's deal.
The movie does require an element of concentration to keep up with the plot, but it's worth the devotion. I watched it twice and the second time was better. And I am sure I will watch it again. There is more than one key scene where Stott's character Jack faces humanity over brutality, and that's the key to success of this movie.
I think it's pretty good, with excellent acting, and you might like to give it a go. Try here for a very cheap copy, as I did. The movie itself is worth far more than you'd pay for it.