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1 item from 2017


Cannes Film Review: ‘A Prayer Before Dawn’

21 May 2017 8:06 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Competition is stiff for the title of cinema’s most violently harrowing prison drama, and tougher still for the all-time most pummeling boxing movie. Gutsily, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s “A Prayer Before Dawn” comes out fighting for both, landing a number of clear knockouts in the process. At once exhausting and astonishing, this no-holds-barred adaptation of British junkie-turned-pugilist Billy Moore’s Thai prison memoir is a big, bleeding feat of extreme cinema, given elevating human dimension by rising star Joe Cole’s ferociously physical lead performance. For French director Sauvaire, it’s a return to the hungry, technically dazzling form of his unshakeable 2008 child-soldier study “Johnny Mad Dog,” as well as a testament to his suitability for an international range of hard-genre projects.

A24 has already scooped the U.S. rights to “A Prayer Before Dawn,” appropriately premiered at Cannes as a midnight screening — the right slot for a film that »

- Guy Lodge

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