It *was* an accident, wasn't it?
Up to a point. I mean, I had no way of calculating the actual voltage. There is always an element of chance in these sort of things.
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Who on earth would enjoy a dark and cynical comedy full of unappealing characters and unpleasant plot twists? .I suppose I would, however unwillingly. Peter O'Toole plays the aging actor/entertainer JJ Curtis, whose fame now revolves around `The Big Prize', the tacky game show he produces and hosts. While trying to make a lucrative deal to air his program in the U.S., the competition rears its ugly head in the form of young Dave Turner, host of a different tacky and truly `shocking' game show (pun intended). Both are willing to play dirty to get the U.S. deal--in fact no tactic is too twisted or drastic for either men--and I promise you a few surprisingly nasty tricks.
Also thrown into the mix is Adrian Lester as the emerging writer (and narrator of this tale) Jonathan Snitch, an interesting surname since he is hired to write JJ Curtis' memoirs. JJ is particularly anxious to get his life story recorded for posterity since he has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer; and lest you think this condition makes his character more sympathetic--think again. Snitch stands out as the only decent character in the cast, and Adrian Lester does a superb job. Adrian Gillen deftly handles the unlikable Dave Turner, and Julia Sawalha (Saffy in the Brit TV series
Absolutely Fabulous) appears as Dave's hapless assistant.
Peter O'Toole, not surprisingly, is Absolutely Fabulous as JJ. The characters may be drawn with a wide brush, but O'Toole somehow finds the subtleties and nuances that make JJ a three-dimensional creature. I honestly think this is an award-deserving performance.
But, this film won't (and didn't) win any awards in America; in fact I wonder if anyone but the 10 of us rating it on this site saw the film. Black humor and a story that defies categorizing ensure a small audience for this quirky movie. But hey, I enjoy watching a movie and being surprised and deliciously horrified. I enjoy wonderful performances in a small but slickly executed production. I like a film that is not so bland that I've forgotten it 10 minutes later. It's not for everyone--but I hope it will find the audience it deserves.
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