When it comes to movies, Andrew Moodie more than knows his stuff… which helps when making his mark in the world of celluloid reviews.

The Evening Times caught up with 19-year-old Andrew at the Glasgow Film Theatre, where he shared his love of all things film — and the experience of being awarded for his movie review talent.

In May, Andrew’s creative flair was recognised at the Scottish Commission for Learning Disabilities’ annual Learning Disability Awards.

Highly commended in the Creative Communities category, Andrew has been publishing his opinions on new releases and modern classics at his online blog The Truth About Movies for the past two years.

Recalling when he first got the movie bug, Andrew says: “In the summer of 2005, I went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with a friend. I liked it and it just went from there.

“Around two years ago, I started writing reviews for movies online. Stand by Me was the first film review I published.

In my reviews I write about the screenplay, cinematography, music... and I look out for one or two flaws.”

Andrew’s brother Ben, 30, is happily in awe of his younger siblings’ talent and was there to share his award night celebrations.


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Ben says: “When we were growing up, Andrew was very into Doctor Who… he can tell you all the show’s episodes. As for writing, I didn’t really see that side of him until he started, and I was like, ‘oh he’s quite good at that.’”

The young writer, who also turns his talents to short stories, has the full support of his family and development support charity, C-Change, as he endeavours to follow a career in journalism or creative writing - particularly following the disheartening advice he once received regarding his ambitions.

Ben explains: “Andrew went to the job centre for a work eligibility review. He told them that he planned to be a writer and the response was that it wouldn’t be a good idea and that he should go and find a “real job.”

As an antidote to that experience, ahead of his award Andrew received good luck wishes from celebrities in some unexpected corners, with Sandi Bogle from Gogglebox and WBC Flyweight World Champion, Charlie Edwards, showing their support on social media.

Shortlisted with Andrew in the Creative Communities category was Glasgow theatre company ShowDowns! Drama Group, made up of people with Down’s syndrome,.

Sharing how difficult it was for panel judges to choose a winner, Kenneth Fleming, Scottish Commission for Learning Disabilities’ Engagement & Influencing Manager, says: “The category showcased people with exceptional talent and flair. And what stood out for us all is how Andrew’s movie reviews are so well thought out and insightful. He has a real creative talent for words.”

With the Learning Disability Awards a highlight of Scotland’s Learning Disability Week, Kenneth adds: “In a broader sense it’s about challenging the stereotypes and stigmas that people with learning disabilities face.

“The message of the awards is to stop asking about what people can’t do and start asking about what they can do.

“We need responses from policymakers to focus on people’s assets. Andrew has got his award and that’s great, but the really important thing is that it allows him to open doors to new opportunities."

Looking ahead, Andrew is keeping his plans simple yet ambitious, as he says: “In the future, I guess as long I am doing something that I enjoy, whether it be writing fiction or continuing with the reviews, I’ll be happy.”

A snippet from Andrew's most recent movie review for Tomorrow;

Yesterday was directed by Danny Boyle and stars Himesh Patel, Lilly James, Kate Mackinnon and Ed Sheeran.

The film is about a struggling musician who, after being in an accident, wakes up to discover no one remembers the music of the Beatles apart from him. So, understandably, he claims their songs as his own, takes the credit and gets all the recognition – while also achieving the level of fame he has always dreamed of. But could he run the risk of being exposed as a fraud? Or worse, losing the love of his life?

The performances were fine, Patel and James both do good jobs of portraying likeable everyday people, and they do have a believable chemistry together. But they are in the end forgettable...

Read the full version of Andrew's Yesterday review at The Truth About Movies.