A Boy And His . . . Cat (Film Review: “A Street Cat Named Bob”)

An inspiring, fact-based story of two stray souls who save each other at the tail end of their 9th lives. Purring with heart, this film will convert even the most fervent dog people out there.


SnapShot Plot

British actor, Luke Treadaway (Unbroken) may seem like the star of this movie, but that’s just because he walks on two legs and wears pants. Make no mistake, the real star of the irresistibly tender film, A Street Cat Named Bob is none other than Bob, who plays himself (purr-fectly) and pretty much steals the entire movie from the humans around him. Treadaway plays homeless London street busker, James Bowen, a gentle musician trying to kick a nasty heroin habit with mixed success. His loyal case worker, Val (played by our favorite housemaid, Joanne Froggatt of Downton Abbey fame) manages to nab him subsidized housing in a dodgy project, where out of nowhere a stray ginger cat waltzes into his flat and takes permanent squatter’s rights in his heart. James soon realizes that not only is Bob a natural attraction for tourists and locals alike, by which he can actually make some money, but on a much deeper level he finds himself connected to the cat in soul-stirring ways he could never have imagined. With Bob by his side – or more accurately on his shoulder – James is empowered to face his demons and re-join the world he left behind so long ago.



Parting Shot

Directed by Roger Spottiswoode (Turner and HoochTomorrow Never Dies) and adapted from the bestselling memoir by James Bowen, A Street Cat Named Bob is that rare feel-good film that doesn’t leave a treacly film of saccharin on your teeth. Yes, it’s heartwarming and hopeful but it also deals with some pretty gritty social ills, such as homelessness and drug addiction, and it does so in enough of a realistic fashion to make this an age-inappropriate film for young children.

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life, published in 2013, was an instant best seller in book stores around the world, has sold over 1 million copies in the U.K. alone and has been translated into 25 languages to date. After collaborating on that memoir with writer, Garry Jenkins, James Bowen went on to write two more Bob-related books: The World According to Bob; and My Name is Bob. A child-friendly version of the original book was also released in 2013, entitled, Bob: No Ordinary Cat. Today, Bowen dedicates his life’s work to the causes of homelessness, literacy, and animal welfare.

We often assume that the most inspiring relationships in life exist between human beings. What this little gem of a picture reminds us is how – if we’re open to it – our connections to animals can plumb the deepest depths of love and empathy. As James Bowen said of his final detox from drugs, “I believe it came down to this little man. He came and asked me for help, and he needed me more than I needed to abuse my own body. He is what I wake up for every day now… he’s definitely given me the right direction to live my life.” That’s Love.

A Street Cat Named Bob is presently streaming on Netflix.

Norma’s Streaming Picks is proud to announce squatters’ rights on a fantastic site for Baby Boomers, Midcentury/Modern as well as right here at home. I invite you to go there for more great content!

YouTube Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QaguEpogFk

Leave a Reply