Thursday, March 31, 2011
Actor Paddy Considine writes and directs his first full length feature, based on a short he made a few years ago. He gathers together a first rate cast with Peter Mullen, Olivia Cole, and Eddie Marsan in the lead roles. Mr. Mullen plays Joseph, a man full of anger that he wears on his sleeve. When he meets Hanna (Ms. Cole), he ever so slowly awakens new emotions to replace his rage. Their relationship is not what you expect, evident enough when we meet Hanna's husband, James (Mr. Marsan). Hanna has problems of her own, hidden below the surface and her marriage is not what it seems.
This is a serious drama with moments of raw violence against people and animals (two dogs do not fare well in the film) but it is also powerfully acted in an arc towards redemption and optimism. Mr. Considine's camera loves Mr. Mullen. He has always done fine work but this may be his best role and the way the camera lingers on his subtle expressions can be breathtaking.
The story is not complicated. It is character driven and well paced. Mr. Considine looks to have a long career behind the camera. I saw this at the New Director's/New Films Festival at Lincoln Center so don't look for it in theaters just yet. I'm not sure of it's release date but once it's released, it's worth a look, especially if you are a fan of gritty British drama.