James Bulger film branded ‘heartless’ by victim's family is tipped for Oscar win

7 January 2019, 14:58

Vincent Lambe, the film's director, didn't inform James Bulger's family about the film
Vincent Lambe, the film's director, didn't inform James Bulger's family about the film. Picture: PA/ITV

James Bulger's family said that they had not been contacted by the director of the film before it was made.

A short film about the murder of James Bulger has been tipped for Oscar success - despite the tragic lad's family claiming it sympathises with the killers.

A 30 minute long film Detainment, by director Vincent Lambe, recreates police interviews with killers Jon Venables and Robert Thompson who were just 10-years-old when they kidnapped and murdered 2-year-old James in 1993.

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The film has been slammed by James' father Ralph Bulger who has claimed that none of the family were contacted by Lambe about the film prior to him making it.

He told the Mirror: “Not once has the maker of this film contacted me or any of James’s family about this film.

“It has been 26 years since my son was taken and murdered and so I have seen many documentaries and news stories about him."

James Bulger was kidnapped from his mother's side and murdered when he was 2-years-old
James Bulger was kidnapped from his mother's side and murdered when he was 2-years-old. Picture: PA

“But I have never been so cut up and offended by something that shows so little compassion to James and his family.

“I accept this is a murder of such magnitude it will always be written about and featured in the news but to make a film so ­sympathetic to James’s killers is devastating."

Detained has been shortlisted for an Oscar which has ignited further controversy amongst supporters of the Bulger family but the director appeared on Good Morning Britain recently to defend his decision to make the film.

Vincent Lambe defended his decision to make the film on Good Morning Britain
Vincent Lambe defended his decision to make the film on Good Morning Britain. Picture: ITV

Speaking to presenter Ben Shepherd about why he chose the Bulger case as the subject for his film, the 38-year-old Irishman said: "What I saw was not two evil monsters with horns on their heads but two ten year old boys who had done something absolutely horrific.

"I think a lot of people feel its wrong to humanise those boys, but if people can't accept the fact that they are human beings they will never be able to begin to understand what could have driven them to commit such a crime.

"The only way to prevent something like this happening again in the future is to understand the cause of it."

Despite standing by his decision to make the film he did acknowledge that he failed to contact the Bulger family beforehand.

He admitted: "I think they wouldn’t want a film like this to be made."