Tuesday, November 15, 2011
TYRANNOSAUR: Paddy Considine turns filmmaker as Mullan and Colman shine
Kent Turner of Film Forward used the term British miserabilism to describe movies such as TYRANNOSAUR, the first full-length film to be written and directed by the crack British actor Paddy Considine. Having recently sat through other examples of this genre -- NEDS and In Our Name are two such -- I find that term pretty appropriate. The definition of the word -- the kind of music, art, film or theater that evokes a depressive state -- can also be expanded into the quality of seeming to enjoy that state. Both meanings are appropriate for the movie at hand, I think.
Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman. As over-the-top as I found the movie's central situation and the fact that both leading characters have a secret (or not so) cross to bear, either of which would be plenty to hang a movie around but together make for the kind of double whammy that can't help seeming a bit manufac-tured, I could still, not for a second, consider leaving before the movie had finished because, moment-to-moment, the performances were that real and riveting. (I have also found this to be true in some of the films in which Mr. Considine has starred. In fact, the first film which he co-wrote -- but did not direct -- Dead Man's Shoes, suffered from this same, over-the-top quality.)
Eddie Marsan (shown in photo at bottom), who is wonderful in a two-note role.
Paul Popplewell, below), cowed mother, sweet son; and a good, often drunk, friend of the Mullan character, played by the fine actor Ned Dennehy, shown with Colman at left, above (Dennehy is also super-fine as the sleazy snitch in the now stream-able movie Blitz, in which Considine shines in the role of a gay cop).
Sundance Festival. And it is not that the writing and directing are lacking, exactly; they do the job. But there is indeed that sense (as in the miserabilism definition above) of everyone somehow enjoying all this just a little too much.
Strand Releasing, opens this Friday, November 18, in New York City at the Angelika Film Center and in the Los Angeles area at Laemmle's Sunset 5 and Playhouse 7.