With its stunning barren, isolated backdrop of the north Yorkshire Dales, writer/director Dan Hartley’s very personal film looks to the friendship between a teenage boy and a National Park ranger following the sudden death of the boy’s father.
Young Tom (Bretten Lord) reacts badly to the sudden loss, particularly as the family struggle financially and older brother Nick leaves to join the army. Truancy from school leads to trouble with the law and a spot of community service. Meeting Al Thorpe (Alan Gibson), a practical, down-to-earth, no-nonsense ranger helps point Tom in the right direction.
Dedicated to the memory of Al Boughen, the real-life ranger who mentored the teenage Dan Hartley, Lad: A Yorkshire Story is an utterly compelling simple tale simply told: full of pathos, wry humour, natural performances, a lot of heart – and that landscape.