2007 Certificate: 15


After reuniting for their father's funeral, two estranged brothers take a road trip across Scotland to discover what their legacy might be. But as they begin to put their differences aside, a female hitchhiker serves to send the relationship down an unexpected path. A no-budget drama with an air of mystery, this is an understandably rough-edged yet intriguing calling card for first-time director Charles-Henri Bellville.


  • Charles-Henri Belleville


  • Fraser Sivewright

  • Tim Barrow

  • Tom Hardy

  • Imogen Toner


Fraser (Fraser Sivewright) is the reserved one who stayed in Edinburgh; his edgy brother David (Tim Barrow) left for London and never looked back. It's hard to believe they share the same genes.

Were it not for the death their father (a flickering cameo from Tom Hardy), they would have happily kept their distance.

But on settling his affairs, they find that Dad has left them a key, a clapped-out VW Combi and a note telling them that what they are looking for is on the Isle of Skye.

While chugging and bickering their way across Scotland, the brothers stop to pick up a hitchhiking artist called Tara (Imogen Toner). But it's not just her quiet inquisitiveness that disturbs the uneasy peace between them.

Director Belleville's stint as production assistant on the shoot-while-nobody's-looking gonzo comedy Dirty Sanchez: The Movie evidently stood him in good stead for his debut feature. Its budget would barely cover a student's monthly bar tab.

Benefiting from a score provided primarily by Fiona Rutherford and colleagues at the Edinburgh School of Music, Belleville also makes the most of the stark Scottish lochscapes in patching together his hour-long shaggy dog story.

The improvisation is a little hit-and-miss but Sivewright and Barrow (the film's writer) create a convincingly fractious relationship and interest rarely wanes in their quest.

So it's disappointing when believability and dramatic honesty evaporate with an abrupt climax, less likely to provoke thought than furrow brows.

Raw and enigmatic, The Inheritance is certainly worth investigating but ultimately less rewarding than one might hope.

Elliott Noble


Regardless of how you feel about the movie itself, the 'Making Of...' documentary that accompanies The Inheritance on DVD makes it something of an essential purchase for anyone with an interest in shoestring filmmaking.

It's an engaging and informative soup-to-nuts account of the creative process, beginning with young director Belleville's decision to expand his idea for a short film into a feature after helping to distribute indie hit London to Brighton.

With plenty of input from writer/actor Barrow and producer David Boaretto, Belleville covers every step of the process from fundraising and shooting to post-production and, ultimately, glory at the Raindance Film Festival.

Passionate yet pragmatic (you have to be with a budget of a mere £5000), the trio offer anecdotes and advice in equal measure while displaying the powers of wisdom and invention that are essential to any aspiring filmmaker.

They also had the one thing that money can't buy: luck. But whether discovering the worth of friends of friends or securing a cameo from rising star Tom Hardy (Star Trek: Nemesis, Rocknrolla), it's still true that you make your own and these chaps thoroughly deserved it.

Any aspiring Spielbergs are advised to ditch the textbooks and get it from the horses' mouths.