Early Ken Loach film on which he built his career. I'm not too familiar with his work yet, but from the looks of it there isn't too much for me there. If you like kids growing up in rather dire circumstances than this might be for you, I grew tired pretty quickly of the uninteresting lead and the grim and noisy environment that surrounds him.
Billy Casper comes from the poor side of Barnsley. His brother likes to beat him up, he can't really concentrate when he's at school and his father doesn't treat him that well. Things change for Billy when he finds a bird, which he trains to be his friend. This relationship changes Billy's life.
Bradley does well enough in the lead, but his character simply isn't all that interesting. The drama is predictable, Loach's visual style isn't very attractive, the soundtrack is terrible and there's little room for anything else but drama. It's not difficult to see why this became popular, it just isn't for me.