Posts Tagged ‘British film’

In a nutshell: East London meets Wild West

Popcorn rating: 4/5

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. And you’ll certainly be left with that lasting impression after watching Wild Bill.

British actor Dexter Fletcher’s first stint in the director’s chair sees Charlie Creed-Miles play the aforenamed anti-hero. Bill Hayward is out on patrol after eight years in prison for a list of convictions as long as a shopping list.

Bill comes home to find the same hoodlums running the estate and his sons Dean, 15, and Jimmy, 11, fending for themselves after their mum ran off to Spain. At first his natural instincts kick in and Bill wants to make a similar escape to Scotland, but surprising his sons and even himself, he soon finds himself well equipped to be a dad and even commits to a low paid job over the perks of crime. However, it isn’t long before his old gang and Social Services at his neck and chaos commences…

Sure, Bill wants to change, or at least escape from his old life, but there are insurmountable obstacles in between him and that fresh start. Fear not though; this is no misery saga. Fletcher weaves his magic with storytelling, somehow managing to merge comedy with a gritty drama that evolves throughout its runtime.

Although Wild Bill is set in troubled neighbourhood in east London some tense scenes are deliberately filmed in a Western style adding to the story’s unique charm. Also look out for an extended cameo by Andy Serkis, who is currently busy working on The Hobbit.

Ultimately, Wild Bill reminds you that hope can be found in depths of despair and although you can’t expect the happiest of endings that leaves you feeling good.

Reviewer: David Morgan

In a nutshell: Violence, heartache…redemption

Popcorn rating: 5/5

Actor Paddy Considine gave one of the most brutal and unflinching performances in recent times as a brother seeking his own brand of justice in Dead Man’s Shoes. So it is perhaps unsurprising that the Burton-on-Trent man has created a similarly raw and uncompromising film for his first stint as director.

Put simply Tyrannosaur is incredible.

It tells the story of Joseph (Peter Mullan), a middle-aged, working class man who lives in a rough council estate in Leeds. He is plagued with anger issues, prone to violence and has alienated everyone around him – he is desperate to become a better person. Joseph also has a skewed sense of honour and justice and, powerless in other ways, his automatic reaction to everything is with a clenched fist.

It is in the aftermath of yet another fight that he meets Hannah (Olivia Colman), a Christian working in a charity shop. He takes refuge in the store to calm down and when Hannah starts to pray for him as he hides behind a coat rail, it is bizarre yet incredibly powerful. An unlikely friendship develops, with Joseph assuming Hannah has an easy life as she lives in the posh end of town. But the pair are both confronting demons, although from different sides of the track.

Hannah clings onto her faith despite the misery of a severely abusive husband (Eddie Marsan) and that’s what gets the plot rolling. The quiet dignity of Hannah’s suffering is heartbreaking and it is agonising watching Joseph’s inner turmoil. He flinches when people come near him and trembles with rage when confronted.

Tyrannosaur shows a new director with incredible promise for the future, but that’s not to overlook a cast who are all on excellent form, particularly the stars Mullan and Colman. One of my favourite films of the year so far, it won’t be for everyone – it’s gritty, violent and upsetting, yet is also absorbing and moving in equal measures with an ending which is sad but also, somehow, redemptive.

Reviewer: DavidMorgan