Jamie Bell makes the best of a bad situation as Hallam, the titular teenage protagonist of Mister Foe, whose anger, resentment and paranoia drive him from his father's remote Scottish Highlands estate to the streets of Edinburgh in search of solace. Hallam's mother recently drowned in the loch behind the house, the apparent victim of a freak boating accident, and his dad (Ciarán Hinds) has moved on and married his former secretary Verity (Claire Forlani), whom he was seeing before his wife's untimely passing and whom Hallam believes is a gold-digging hooker responsible for mom's death. Bell conveys the kid's withdrawn distrust through restless body language and wary glares, while at the same time flashing steely, cocky defiance during Hallam's confrontations with dad and Verity, as well as nonchalant, gregarious charm in the company of others. His performance has a multifaceted vitality to it, equal parts wounded puppy dog and plucky fighter, and might have carried director David Mackenzie's follow-up to Asylum (adapted from a novel by Peter Jinks) were it not for the fact that the film doesn't treat its subject as a real person, but rather as a term paper-ready vessel for narrative themes of voyeurism and Freudian longing.