7.4/10
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A Street Cat Named Bob (2016)

Not Rated | | Biography, Comedy, Drama | 18 November 2016 (USA)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
Based on the international best selling book. The true feel good story of how James Bowen, a busker and recovering drug addict, had his life transformed when he met a stray ginger cat.

Director:

Roger Spottiswoode

Writers:

James Bowen (novel), Garry Jenkins (novel) | 2 more credits »
1 win. See more awards »

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Family

Sequel to the feature film 'A STREET CAT NAMED BOB'.

Director: Charles Martin Smith
Stars: Streetcat Bob
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Luke Treadaway ... James
Bob the Cat ... Bob
Ruta Gedmintas ... Betty
Joanne Froggatt ... Val
Anthony Head ... Jack Bowen
Darren Evans ... Baz
Tony Jayawardena Tony Jayawardena ... Tony
Adam Riches ... Man with Car
Llewella Gideon Llewella Gideon ... Meter Woman
Lorraine Ashbourne ... Local Housing Officer
Akbar Kurtha ... Pharmacist
John Henshaw ... Tube Station Guard
Beth Goddard ... Hilary
Ivana Basic ... Vet Receptionist
Jessica Woodland Jessica Woodland ... Vet Assistant
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Storyline

Based on the international best selling book. The true feel good story of how James Bowen, a busker and recovering drug addict, had his life transformed when he met a stray ginger cat.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sometimes it takes nine lives to save one See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Street Cat Named Bob See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,887, 20 November 2016

Gross USA:

$82,703

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$16,053,043
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Luke Treadaway (James Bowen) and Ruta Gedmintas (Betty) have been dating several years before appearing together in this project. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, during the book signing scene, we can see the Complete Discworld Atlas of Terry Pratchett behind the father of James Bowen and his wife. It's a mistake: the scene takes place in 2012 and the Atlas was published in 2015. See more »

Quotes

James Bowen: [from trailer] I'm ready. I've got Bob. He'll look after me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

On the UK release, the British Board Of Film Censors card preceding the feature reads 'A Streetcar Named Desire' briefly, before being replaced by the appropriate card for the film. This may have been a glitch peculiar to the cinema. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Street Cat Named Bob: Behind the Scenes (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Second Time Around
Written by Charlie Fink
Performed by Luke Treadaway
(p) 2016 Sony Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film with loads of heart despite it's limitations and small budget
12 November 2016 | by trevorwombleSee all my reviews

There is much to like about this film. For a start Luke Treadaway does a solid job as James Bowen, the lead character. But let's be honest, Bob (as himself) totally steals every scene he is in. A gorgeous ginger Tom, he is adorable and just oozes charm despite not having any dialogue. You could almost hear the audience warm to him from the first time we see him, helping himself to a box of cereal. Bob needed a home and someone to look after him and James needed Bob to find the strength to save himself and a sense of purpose in life.

The film is based on a true story and yet weirdly it suffers a bit from being too adult (in parts) to be a real family film yet it almost comes over as a severely compromised view of the world of drug addiction and thus will be a bit of a disappointment to those expecting a deep character study. In the UK the film is rated 12 so it is neither a kiddies film about a cute cat nor is it quite the Trainspotting style view of a man trying desperately to kick his drug dependency. In this regard the film falls between two stalls and despite trying hard, can never quite make up it's mind what it purports to try to be.

Roger Spottiswoode is a talented director (just look at his CV) and yet he feels a strange choice to direct this. He made the Tom Hanks comedy Turner & Hooch a long time ago so he has form of working with animals and humans but this film is a million miles (and millions of dollars) away from that Disney crowd-pleaser. Here we have a small story that must have been a very delicate balancing act to get right at the script stage, a mixture of comedy & pathos that has to be able to not offend a family audience and yet deal with a serious subject matter and the huge uphill struggle James has to deal with, his desire to get clean of addiction for once and for all. And some credit must go to the screenwriter for showing the degrading and tragic side of drug addiction without making it too overtly harrowing. If this film inspires one other person to turn their life around like Bob motivated James to do, or even stops one person turning to drugs as an escape then it will have done its job.

I should point out that the film also has a light side too, with touches of comedy alongside the seriousness. The supporting cast are all fine too, although the neighbour 'Betty' seems a little too kooky and convenient for my liking. James's support worker Val is wonderfully played out by Joanne Froggatt from Downton Abbey and fans of Mike Leigh films will also recognise Ruth Sheen popping up too. And let's not forget Anthony Head (who is always immensely likable) as James's dad and has a wonderful scene towards the end of the film when he finally shows his true feelings.

So then, this is a worthwhile film providing you aren't expecting to see a) a Garfield film or B) a Trainspotting expose of life as a drug addict. There is almost no bad language to speak of so it ticks that box too. Like I said earlier, there is a feeling of compromise to this, like the story was edited for a younger audience but that isn't necessarily a bad thing and it certainly helped James Bowen's book reach out to a mass audience and rightfully become a best seller. If this was set in the US it would certainly have a glossier feel and maybe it's touch of grittiness (partly as it was filmed on location in a grey, drab London during November-December 2015) will harm it's box-office, but as a true life human drama of inspiration with a dash of charm and loads of character then do give it a try.


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