Winner of the British Academy of Film and
Television Arts 2003 award for new director fiction, awarded to Brian
Hill and winner of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts
award for new writer, awarded to Anna Maloney
1 x 60 minutes
Transmitted 17 October 2002
A Century Films production for
Clare - Hermione Norris
Pete - Mark Strong
Jackie - Tamsin Greig
Rob - Daniel Ryan
Clare's Mum - Polly Adams
Sally - Mika Simmons
Michelle - Lynne Pearson
Roger - Daryl Aukland
Men's group - Frances Carrigan, Murray McArthur, Mark Heal, Dave Spinx
and Andrew Whipp
Second camera operator
Julian Stewart Lindsay
Director of photography
Judy Counihan and Liz Warner
Falling Apart (2002)
One British woman in four
experiences domestic violence at some stage in her life.
Falling Apart is a
reality-based drama that charts the course of a marriage from its
blissful beginning to its violent end. Clare meets Pete and finds him
sexy, amusing and passionate. What she doesn’t know is that he has a
problem with anger. Over the course of the film, Pete’s problem is
revealed and Clare suffers the consequences.
This is the first television
drama from award-winning documentary maker Brian Hill, who used
hand-held digital video cameras to give a unique verité
feel to the film. Hill encouraged the actors to improvise during action
scenes and not to worry about where cameras were positioned. These
sequences were then shot as if they were actuality.
First-time writer Anna
Maloney based her hard-hitting screenplay on interviews with men and
women who have directly experienced domestic abuse, giving Falling
Apart a sharply focussed realism.
real testimonies and filmed in a drama-documentary style, you get the
banal dialogue and feeble justifications that usually come with
[domestic violence] situations. Rather than detract from the drama’s
power, this gives it an unmistakable ring of truth."
Mary Nokakovich, The
"As disturbing an account of
a modern marriage as I have ever endured on television … one of the
best acted pieces I have seen all year."
Christopher Matthew, The
"Falling Apart’ is more of a
case study than a drama, but that does not diminish its raw power or
David Chater, The
"Both the dialogue and
direction had the confidence to be understated, and there were stunning
central performances from Mark Strong and Hermione Norris. ‘Falling
Apart’ was extremely powerful."
James Walton, The
"This sparse but powerful
film combines a real sense of menace without resorting to easy
demonisation. Doubtless a few viewers will be squirming in their seats."
"No stereotypes or
promises of happy endings here … powerful drama from first-time writer
Dorota Nosowicz, The