There are few moments in life when a true story weaves a tale so brutal yet endearing that it can simply be turned into cinema. A Street Cat Named Bob is just that.
A Street Cat Named Bob follows the well-known and loved London legend of James Bowen, Covent Garden busker, Big Issue seller, and human companion to one very cool street cat. It sounds simple enough, but this drama packed the punches required to leave me in tears several times.
Forget the gloss and glamour of a Hollywood high budget look, this story doesn’t need it, and Bob the Street Cat certainly wouldn’t care for it. Instead we are drawn into the intimate storytelling and unique style of the drama from the word go, though we were all waiting eagerly to see when Bob would make his pivotal entrance into the life of recovering drug addict James Bowen, masterfully played by Luke Tredaway. Ruta Gedmintas’ arrival into the story as a bit of a love interest gives the well known tale extra value too, because well, she’s gorgeous and she delivers her “girl with a sad past” role beautifully well. Joanne Froggatt also delivers as support worker Val who believes in James and supports him throughout his transition to sobriety.
But Bob is the real star. The instantly loveable ginger tom attaches himself to James from their first meeting. Though they part ways initially, the two become firm friends when Bob comes into need of help; and as it turns out, our unlikely hero James is in just as much need of help.
The “cat cam” style of filming that is introduced is pure genius. Bob has always been his own entity, rather calmly dealing with whatever life throws at he and James, and occasionally offering a high five to well deserving individuals, so having his own camera and having the film follow Bob’s point of view and feelings on several occasions is great for storytelling.
The real Bob actually plays himself in the vast majority of the film, which will be a highlight for fans. Though Bob and the real life James Bowen have long left the streets, its refreshing to see duo and Sony using the film to promote support of animal charities and raising awareness of the issue of homelessness in London at this time of year.
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode and staring Luke Tredaway, A Street Cat Named Bob is a new Christmas classic that you won’t want to miss. Even Kate Middleton is set to attend the world premiere in London this Thursday, along with Bob and James, of course!
You can watch below to see when Holly and Ben met Bob on This Morning earlier in October, we thought we’d share it, just cause Bob is pretty cool…!
A Street Cat Named Bob is out in cinemas this Friday, November 4th.