• Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

“The Old Oak” is a poignant drama directed by . The film is set in a declining mining village in northern England, where the last remaining pub, The Old Oak, stands as a focal point for the struggling community. The pub is run by TJ Ballantyne (played by ), who is trying to keep the business afloat amidst the village's economic hardships. The arrival of Syrian refugees in the area brings both hope and tension to the community. As the villagers grapple with their own issues, they must also confront their attitudes towards the newcomers. The story explores themes of solidarity, prejudice, and the power of community in overcoming adversity.


“The Old Oak” has been met with generally positive reviews, especially praised for its heartfelt narrative and strong social commentary. 's direction, known for its realist style and focus on working-class struggles, shines through in this film. Critics have lauded the performances, particularly 's portrayal of TJ, which adds depth and authenticity to the film. The cinematography and screenplay also received favorable mentions for effectively capturing the bleak yet resilient spirit of the village and its inhabitants.

However, some critics noted that the film's pacing could be slow at times and that its message, while important, might come across as didactic. Despite this, “The Old Oak” has been celebrated for its emotional impact and relevance, particularly in its handling of contemporary issues like immigration and economic disparity.


As of now, “The Old Oak” has garnered attention in various film festivals and award circuits. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was well-received, and has since been nominated for and won several awards, particularly in categories related to social impact and acting performances. Specific award details may vary as the award season progresses.


“The Old Oak” has generated a considerable amount of interest, especially among fans of and those interested in socially conscious cinema. While it may not have achieved blockbuster status, its critical acclaim and the relevance of its themes have made it a popular choice in film discussions and among audiences who appreciate thought-provoking dramas. Its popularity is also bolstered by positive word-of-mouth and its presence in film festival circuits.


Directed by
Screenplay by Paul Laverty
Produced by
  • Rebecca O'Brien
Cinematography Robbie Ryan
Edited by Jonathan Morris
Music by George Fenton
Distributed by
  • Le Pacte (France)
  • StudioCanal (United Kingdom)
Release dates
  • 26 May 2023 (Cannes)
  • 29 September 2023 (United Kingdom)
  • 25 October 2023 (France)
Running time
113 minutes
  • Belgium
  • France
  • United Kingdom
Language English


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