The story revolves around nine-year-old Thomas who has dreams about his 'imaginary friend' Tom, unaware that these dreams are in fact the manifestation of a psychic bond between him and his long-lost twin brother Tom. Thomas was the lucky twin who was adopted into a loving family whereas Tom grew up in an abusive orphanage. Then the two accidentally meet and it's up to them to break a child trafficking racket that is being conducted in Tom's orphanage.
Sean Bean is excellent as Thomas' father Paul, offering a paternal softness that is rarely required in the characters he usually plays. Aaron Johnson, the young actor who plays both roles of Tom and Thomas, is very talented for a child who very new to acting. He managed to convey the emotions of the story perfectly as well as juggle two accents (something many experienced adult actors can't manage, let alone a nine-year-old child) and two very different characters. It's a shame he's not been in more films since as he's probably qualifies as one of Britain's best young talent. And of course, I can't forget to mention Derek de Lint, who was wonderfully slimy as Mr Bancroft, and Bill Stewart, who was brilliant in capturing the crazed cruelty of Finch.
It might sound contrived but the fact it refuses to delve into the sugary sweetness of your typical American film (there's even a scene where Tom is beaten) and it isn't as predictable as it sounds, with reflection that Tom has problems down to his abusive past, and that is what sets this film aside from other family films doing the 'seperated twin' storyline.
It's just a shame that it wasn't advertised more since it's a film that Britain should have been proud to produce and it's certainly better than many Hollywood family films I've seen over the years.