Film Friday #152

Filth

Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) is an Edinburgh detective desperate for a promotion that he believes will bring his life to its pinnacle. The problem is, he’s not the only one in line. So in between sleeping with his friends wives, mainlining every drug he can get his hands on and torturing anyone who gets in his way, Bruce sets about to systematically destroy his rivals. The problem is Bruce’s own inner demons are just as intent on destroying him. This throws us into the confused, tumultuous inside of Brian’s head as he teeters on the brink of self-annihilation with every indication that the filth will swallow him whole. This adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s eponymous novel is dark, disturbing but often terribly funny. The supporting cast including Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan and Shirley Henderson is excellent but there is no question that this is McAvoy’s show and boy, does he give it his all. It is a testament to his performance that he manages to inject some sympathy into a character that could come across as irredeemable. It won’t be for everyone, but I was blown away. 4.5/5

XXX

I am only going to tell you one more time… get that fucking balloon out of my face

The Hunt

Pre-primary school teacher, Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) lives an isolated life in a small town as he battles his ex for custody of his teenage son. His closest connection is with the family of his best friend, Theo (Thomas Bo Larsen) whose six year old daughter, Klara (Annika Wedderkopp) Lucas teaches. Confused by her selfish parents’ bickering and feeling slighted by Lucas, Clara makes a false accusation of abuse against him, which throws his life into chaos. Soon other children come forward with accusations and the whole town begins to turn against Lucas. What follows is a dark look into mob culture and the hysteria that surrounds anything involving children, evidenced by the fact that even when Clara retracts her accusation, her parents push her to stick to the original story. It’s a morally challenging watch because you can easily understand and even endorse most of the behaviour of the townspeople but also absolutely sympathise with Lucas, who has done nothing wrong and whose life will never be the same again. Mikkelsen gives a subtle but incredibly powerful performance that will leave you haunted days after you watch it. Very highly recommended. 4.5/5

Snow parktown prawns... they're coming...

Snow parktown prawns… they’re coming…

Once Upon A Time in America

Former gangster, David ‘Noodles’ Aaronson (Robert De Niro) returns to his old neighbourhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan after receiving a mysterious invitation from “Secretary Bailey”, a politician facing an inquest. Here he visits with his old friend Fat Moe (Larry Rapp) and is soon overtaken with memories of his past. As we see two concurrent time periods of Noodles’ life, exploring his early teens (here played by Scott Schutzman Tiler) as a small time street thug, who has formed a gang with his friends Patsy (Brian Bloom) and Cockeye (Adrian Curran) working for Bugsy (James Russo) who is in charge of the local turf. We see Noodles’ first confrontational meeting with Max (Rusty Jacobs), which eventually leads to Max joining Noodles’ gang and the friends agreeing to a kind of collective pooling of money and an ideology that they won’t work for a boss. The second shows Noodles as an adult, still working with Max (James Woods), Cockeye (William Forsythe) and Patsy (James Hayden) now rich and successful as a result of Prohibition and mixed in with both a mafia gang and some questionable politicians. This time period is also crosscut with scenes from the same time period where Noodles appears to have betrayed his friends. And then of course the bulk of the film is finding out how these different time periods come together and what this means for present day Noodles. De Niro gives a masterful and brave performance of a character that I found highly unsympathetic, caught up in a brutal lifestyle and unable to resist the lure of self-destruction. Woods provides the perfect foil in the highly ambitious Max and their interactions pull you in and make the story feel that much more personal. An absolute classic. 4/5

And until you all use some Listerine you can keep those masks on

And until you all use some Listerine you can keep those masks on

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

When a fishing mad uber-rich sheik (Amr Waked) decides he would like to do some salmon fishing in his wholly unsuitable home country of Yemen, fisheries expert Dr Alfred Jones (Ewan McGregor) is roped into attempting to make it happen by the sheik’s assistant, Harriet (Emily Blunt) and the Prime Minister’s press secretary (Kristen Scott Thomas). Despite his initial misgivings unhappily married Alfred starts to connect with the sheik and with Harriet, whose new boyfriend has recently been killed in action and throws himself wholeheartedly into the project but trouble is just around the corner. Eh… even though I have a massive girl crush on Emily Blunt, I just couldn’t get into this. Snoozeville. 2/5

No, you cannot borrow my scarf.

No, you cannot borrow my scarf.

16 Comments

  1. Love the sound of Filth.. xxx

    1. Abbi

      I really enjoyed it. It’s very, very dark (which I like) but it also packs a real emotional punch so there’s depth with the depravity.

  2. Great post, I’m interested in seeing Filth after reading your thoughts on it.

    1. Abbi

      Thanks! It’s definitely worth a watch.

      1. movieandtvbuff

        Need to see Filth.. I like that guy from wanted. Was wondering when he would show up again.

        1. Abbi

          If you like James McAvoy you should check out The Last King of Scotland.

  3. With the exception of SFITY, really want to see all of these!

    1. Abbi

      Yeah don’t watch that. It’s really not anything special.

  4. MIB

    Glad you got to see The Hunt at long last. A chilling film indeed.

    1. Abbi

      Absolutely! I really enjoyed it though. One of the things I love about European cinema is how subtly a very powerful story can be told without all the Hollywood flourish!

      1. MIB

        Absolutely. Having seen the trailer for “Captain Phillips” which everyone is raving over, it seems to do everything that “The Hijacking” didn’t do, which made it such a great film.

        1. Abbi

          I have no desire to see Captain Phillips. It looks like a very Americanised representation of African people as villains yet again. It’ll just make me angry.

          1. MIB

            Well it is based on a true story so I don’t think it is intentional! 😉 Have you seen “A Hijacking” yet?

            1. Abbi

              No, not yet but it’s on my list.

  5. Four I haven’t seen!!! 🙂 Don’t know about Filth… Probably won’t rush to see it. The Hunt sounds good but depressing. I watched maybe 20 minutes of Once Upon A Time In America since it’s in the imdb top 250 but wasn’t in the mood so will try another time. Even though it’s the lowest rating, I’d be most likely to go with Salmon Fishing – I like Emily Blunt too. 🙂 The others are too intense! I was glad I managed to catch The Way Way Back finally last week after watching so many horror movies. I needed a fun one! Loved it.

    1. Abbi

      I do love a bit of an intense one. Filth is definitely niche. If it’s not your kind of thing then you’ll hate it. The Hunt is amazing though. Worth it just for Mads Mikkelsen’s performance. I would agree you have to be in the right mood for Once Upon a Time in America. Would love to hear what you think of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen but really glad you enjoyed The Way Way Back!

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