Feature Film | Drama | UK | English | 1h31m
Dir: Paddy Considine | Scr: Paddy Considine | DP: Erik Wilson | Prod: Diarmid Scrimshaw | Mus: Dan Baker & Chris Baldwin | Ed: Pia Di Ciaula | PD: Simon Rogers | Cast: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan, Paul Popplewell, Ned Dennehy, Samuel Bottomley, Sally Carman, Sian Breckin
Though the excellent Colman has received most of the acting plaudits for her portrayal of a middle-class domestic abuse victim in Considine’s very impressive feature directorial debut, in which two otherwise poles apart lives come together through violence to form the unlikeliest of friendships, it is Mullan’s performance, for me, that is the film’s greatest asset. Imbuing a man, whose violent, destructive actions make us wince throughout the film, with such a level of humanity that we actually begin to empathise with him, Mullan’s performance proves to one of true greatness. Which isn’t to belittle Colman’s turn, for hers too is one of heart-breaking authenticity. It’s just that her character is inherently more sympathetic, and as such her achievement slightly less remarkable. Considine’s screenplay also impresses, avoiding any easy resolutions, whilst skirting some well-worn territory, and yet still managing to find a surprisingly satisfying ending, which unearths and clings to the merest ray of hope shining weakly amongst all the bloody darkness that surrounds it. And, a musically-montaged post-funeral piss-up scene aside, his unfussy direction also shows great promise. Hugely affecting.