26 July 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The director of the Olympic opening ceremony has been garlanded with awards for his films and praised for his down-to-earth approach

A junkie diving into "the worst toilet in Scotland" to recover his drug suppositories; a double-decker bus lying on its side in the deserted, zombie-infested London streets; privileged Edinburgh students dismembering corpses; a poet living with a stray dog in a squalid flat; a policeman telling residents they should expect to be burgled – probably not the "best of Britain" image the Olympic organisers had in mind for the opening ceremony.

But despite being the purveyor of these memorably grim moments (via Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Shallow Grave, TV movie Strumpet, and Millions, respectively), Danny Boyle was chosen to direct the show.

And when his appointment was announced two years ago, the collective response was one of pleasant surprise, rather than collective groans and yawns. Such a commission could easily have been put into safer, »

- Steve Rose

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