Character actor Michael Shannon has been nominated for his second Oscar for his role in the 2016 thriller Nocturnal Animals. "No Small Parts" takes a look at some of the other characters he's played in the past.
Edgware, London Accountant Gets Entangled In Criminal Matters
In "The Accountant," Alfred Molina plays a tall chartered accountant (at 6'3", he towers over most of the other actors in the movie) in Edgware, London who is busy planning for his son's bar mitzvah, worrying about clients who either pass away or dump him because he is too honest and trying to help a friend collect a business debt. This last matter, the 3,000 pounds owed to his friend, a paper merchant, gets Molina's character into all sorts of trouble, since he becomes a target of criminals. This seldom shown movie (I saw it on BBC America) is loaded with idiosyncratic details, including information on British tax dodges that may or may not be authentic. After seeing this movie, you have to wonder if the author John Grisham ever saw it, considering the main story line of "The Accountant." If this movie ever shows up again on BBC America or anywhere else, it is recommended viewing.
Addendum (19 January 2010): Memories can fade as the decades pass, which may explain why other reviewers of this movie incorrectly describe it as an all-out comedy. I just saw this movie again from the DVD-R copy I have of the 90 minute BBC America showing of the movie. Molina does play an ethnic sort, a harried Jewish accountant. But the movie starts off with his complaining how he his clients are dying off, after one more client dies and he says he may stop by the funeral service. Then there his friend who drops by unannounced, worried that he will lose his business because a customer is refusing to pay for a big order. Life goes on, Molina dodging traffic to get to the restaurant, his secretary chatting on the phone with a personal call, but in the background you sometimes hear that music accompanying the action, foreboding music. There is an intentional grim undertone to this movie that the other reviewers have either missed or ignored.
The makers of this movie were craftsmen who were showing the transient nature of life, a sort of video "vanitas" type painting. The Rolls-Royce the accountant drives and his big house seen at the movie's end show his prosperity, functioning in the same way as the fine clothes won by the two figures in Hans Holbein the Younger's painting, The Ambassadors. From the other reviews, it seems that all the efforts the movie makers made here to create "art" were for naught. Alfred Molina's portrayal of the accountant overpowers all the obvious details in this movie that show it is about the intersection of life and death, that The Accountant is a grim story, not a comedy.
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