Tyrannosaur * * * * 1/2
Director: Paddy Considine.
Screenplay: Paddy Considine.
Starring: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan, Paul Popplewell, Ned Dennehy, Samuel Bottomley, Sally Carman, Sian Breckin.
Paddy Considine made a name for himself with dynamic performances in director Shane Meadows’ British, working-class drama’s “A Room For Romeo Brass” and “Dead Man’s Shoes“. Those were two great films that benefited from his intense input. Now, as a director himself, he makes his debut behind the camera and adds another fine addition to the realism and style he’s accustomed to acting in.
Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a widower living on a housing estate and prone to fits of uncontrollable rage. One day, in a charity shop, he meets devout Christian, Hannah (Olivia Colman), who offers to pray for him. Hannah has her own problems at home though, as she is being physically and emotionally abused by her husband James (Eddie Marsan). Joseph offers to help her, in return for her kindness, and allows her to take refuge with him but the consequences of violence still linger despite the chance of redemption.
When British cinema is afforded the best of it’s talents, it can deliver some very hard-hitting drama’s. This can be included amongst the finest of recent years, or any year for that matter. It’s raw, emotional storytelling, anchored by excellent central performances; Peter Mullan has rarely been better as a damaged and brutal man, full of inner rage and Eddie Marsan is perfect as an abusive and cowardly creep. It’s Olivia Colman – who’s better known from the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost TV comedy show “Spaced” – that’s the real revelation though. She is absolutely superb. Going on this evidence, Colman thoroughly deserves more dramatic roles in future. It’s quite simply, one of the finest female performances from 2011. Speaking of which, could somebody please explain why this was, yet another, quality drama with searing performances, that was omitted when the Academy awards were being dished out? Proof, yet again, that films of this type are so often overlooked across the pond. Thankfully though, Considine and Colman recieved Bafta’s for their outstanding work. Having already proved his writing potential with “Dead Man Shoe’s” this is another powerful drama that augers very well for Considine’s writing and directing future. If he continues to deliver work like this, he can consider himself amongst the great UK auteurs like Ken Loach and Mike Leigh.
A stark and depressingly ferocious film that also has heart and a real sense of hope. Like most films of this type, it can be difficult viewing but also worth it. British, working-class “Kitchen-sink” drama’s have rarely been better.