Rufus Norris’ debut feature Broken (2012), an adaptation of the Daniel Clay novel of the same name, presents a portrait of three families living in a British cul-de-sac as seen from the point of view of a young girl, Skunk (Eloise Laurence). British actor Tim Roth heads up the first family as Skunk’s father Archie, a gently-mannered attorney single-handedly bringing up his daughter and son Jed (Bill Milner) with help from the Polish au pair Kasia (Zana Marjanovic).
The second family are an older couple living with their grown-up, slightly unhinged son Rick (Robert Emms) and the third – the Oswalds, consisting of three foul-mouthed, promiscuous girls and their grotesque father – very much the diabolical ASBO inversion of Archie’s relaxed, middle class household. The film begins with Mr. Oswald (Rory Kinnear) viciously and seemingly randomly attacking Rick, after one of his daughters has made up an accusation in order to placate and distract her father. The ripples from this attack spread throughout the film and eventually have tragic consequences come the end.