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Tim Roth at Cannes on May 19, 2012. (Sipa via AP Images)

At the Cannes Film Festival, Tim Roth, best known for his bad guy roles, can be seen playing against type as a tender-hearted father in the British film Broken.

The film resonated in very personal terms for Roth, who was moved by the experience of working on a picture which depicted an incredibly close and functional father-child bond. He says: “It’s a relationship I never had. I have a great and loving father, and I have a great and loving mother, but I never had anything like that.”

Broken is a painful emotional drama interspersed with bouts of violence. At its center is an 11-year-old girl called Skunk who, in the face of some harrowing turmoil, retains a refreshing optimism.

Roth sees Broken as significant for British cinema. “It symbolizes what you want English film to start being again, imaginative but also grounded and sensitive and intellectual but a ride as well,” he says.

The actress who plays Skunk is 12-year-old newcomer Eloise Laurence, who’s drawn raves for her performance. But the overall verdict on the film among critics at Cannes has been somewhat mixed.

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Filed Under: Cannes, Tim Roth
By Tom Brook