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|Index||86 reviews in total|
This film is an exceptional, very challenging and thought-provoking
piece of work. Viewing it, as I did, at a morning showing on opening
day, however, is not to be recommended. Having said that, I am not sure
when the optimum time for seeing this film would actually be.
There is a lot of very uncomfortable viewing here. The subject matter - such as it is - is very bleak, but, paradoxically, more life-affirming than depressing. That is to say, I looked at the majority of the characters on screen and thought: please don't let me end up like that.
The plot is thin - that is not meant pejoratively, it's not a plot-driven film - but the performances of the cast simply roar off the screen. Peter Mullan and Eddie Marsan are fantastic, but then again, they always are (as an aside, does Marsan not tire of playing scumbags?), but the real revelation in this film is the performance of Olivia Colman.
She is perfect in this, absolutely note-perfect; incredible acting. Awesome in her delivery. So good, in fact, that you forget this is just a movie. Her performance here is definitely going to propel her into the upper echelons of British acting - if she is not already there.
Tyrannosaur is not faultless, there are some scenes that linger too long and others that linger not long enough, but for an early effort from Considine this promises much for the future. This is Considine's 'Taxi Driver' and I will queue around the block for Considine's 'Goodfellas'.
Superb writing and gritty direction; performances better yet and Colman delivers on every level. Bravo Ms Colman, and bravo to everyone else associated with the best British film of the decade.
I will keep this simple.
It has been quite a while since a movie has shook me to my very core, rattled my sense of security, and left me deeply scarred when I got out of the theater.
Tyrannosaur for me personally is one of the best movies of the year. The year's not over, and it may as well hold a top 3 spot on my list until the end.
First and foremost, the acting in this movie was outstanding. Mullan, Colman was incredible as the two forces that move the movie. Marsan was genuinely terrifying. These three people should be considered for Oscars when the time comes.
There were a few moments where I almost...almost turned my head away, and not many movies can claim the privilege of making me squirm and feel uneasy (Not even the fairly recent "A Serbian Film").
I guess the strongest strength of this movie was the uncanny sense of realism. I've spent enough time learning and observing just what emotions and bursts of rage can do to people. And every bit of rage and anger in this movie seemed all too real. I'm sure some will counter me on this, but for me, I didn't consider any actions, reactions in this movie to be over-the-top. They flowed seamlessly, taking us to bleak, dark places, sprinkling a bit of hope and light along the way, only for us to be shocked again. By god, it was VERY suspenseful in some parts.
In the end, a few hours after getting out of the screening, I'm still reeling trying to find my composure. No, it's not an easy movie to watch, and yes, some will probably dismiss it as an unnecessary glorification of domestic violence and brutality. But for me it's more than that, it has soul, one that's not easy to capture with a subject as difficult as this, but Considine certainly managed to do just that.
Watch it if you get a chance.
2011 hasn't been a great year for movies. In fact I'm struggling to
think of a film that has blown me away but just as you start lose faith
a film comes along that knocks you bandy. Tyrannosaur is that film.
This is a grim film. Grim in every way but where there is despair there is always a chink of light and Tyrannosaur is all about that little chink of light.
Joseph is an angry man . A very angry man. A man who's life is not good. When he's life is at it's worst he accidentally comes across a good Samaritan in Hannah who see's the good in people yet in reality is having a far worse time than Joseph.
I have to say that the performance of Olivia Colman has to be the best i have seen by any actor this year. A quite stunning portrayal of a battered woman who has nothing good in her life yet always has a smile for someone. Peter Mullan is fantastic also and it goes without saying that Eddie Marsden is brilliant.
Writer and director Paddy Constantine should be proud of what he has done here and i cant recommend this film highly enough and if this does not pick up awards in the new year then there is no justice.
Seeing "Tyrannosaur" is an experiment of life: the reality described is
not so different from the everyday life of many of us.
Mr. Considine is able to realise, thanks to a perfect script and superb actors, a small masterpiece and a perfect debut.
The story set in a Leeds of charity shops and pubs, tells the anger, frustration, domestic violence, so common in this early-century England.
Over time we learn that the request for aid between the main characters becomes mutual, up to a finale as unexpected as disturbing.
Well done to everyone, but honour to Peter Mullan about holding the entire film with a surprising force and fragility.
Paddy Considine's directorial debut has been a widely anticipated
event. With his excellent performances throughout his British cinematic
career, most notably his work with Shane Meadows, a dark, churning
piece of cinema was what we have been expecting.
We have not been let down. Tyrannosaur is as gritty as it is gripping. The setting in a Northern industrial, working class community the estates of Leeds, creates the imprisoned physical environment for Joseph (Peter Mullen) an alcoholic, self-loathing widower who meets a Christian charity worker (Olivia Coleman) and we are drawn into their troublesome worlds.
The films workings of violence and desperation draws another influence to my mind, which is Gary Oldman's directorial debut 'Nil by Mouth'. Both are lavished in gritty, deglamorised violence. Both have a tendency to stare the darkness in the eye, unlike some audience members (including myself) that will have an undeniable urge to look away. It's a representation of life on the underside, where it often is difficult, dark, testing and sometimes evil in its twists of fate.
The film has a strong link to animalistic representations, an element to which instantly brought Andrea Arnolds award winning short film 'Dog' to mind. The idea of trapped animals and the capabilities of those pushed too far is a powerful and dominating theme.
Needless to say the challenging viewing nature of this film forms the base of its appeal. Its unflinching and unapologetic brutality could be deemed too prosaic for the majority of mainstream cinema goers. You will need to be ready for the challenge to fully take in and be moved by the film, it's not one to watch on a Sunday morning, put it that way.
The direction and acting are the notables in this production. Most notably Olivia Coleman, whose supporting role threatens to overshadow that of Mullen's, if it wasn't for his own exceptional performance. Mullen portrays Joseph in such a way that despite his loathsome qualities he remains human and even relatable, at times when other characters don't.
But it is Coleman's character and performance that really underpins and illuminates the rest of the feature. Her character is an almost polarised opposite in comparison with Joseph however as the plot turns we are exposed to an array of character transformations. It is these that actually help support the minimalistic plot which allows us to focus and be consumed by these iridescent performances.
Considine has excelled himself in his writing and direction, with very few criticisms that could be levelled at each, other than those looking to nit-pick. Whilst somewhat preoccupied with the grim and depressive side of the characters, the film triumphs as it chase's the ray of light at the end of the tunnel. For all its depressing and challenging nature it mirrors the lives it portrays and the personal struggles of the characters, as they keep pushing and fighting. An excellent first feature from Considine and I personally cannot wait for his next offering.
Recently Hollywood and the various film industries across the globe
have seen an upsurge in the amount of on-screen performers who are
taking a break from acting in front of the camera to instead take
control from behind it. Paddy Considine, the star of 'This is England'
and 'Dead Man's Shoes,' is now a member of this increasingly growing
club with his first feature-film debut 'Tyrannosaur'. Written and
Directed by Considine, this is an uncompromising debut film from the
former photographer, which examines the destructive effects of violence
and aggressive behaviour on the lives of two different individuals who
are drawn together through their developing friendship.
Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a lonely, cynical, and belligerent working class man. He spends his days drinking alone in the Pub and gambling in the local bookmakers where his only friends reside. Violent and abusive outbursts govern his existence thereby creating a solitary creature who acts on instinct rather than reasoning. However, Joseph's life changes when he meets and befriends Hannah (Olivia Colman), a local Christian woman who is constantly being verbally and physically abused by her sadistic husband James (Eddie Marsan). Both tortured souls, they find solace in each other's lives and develop a friendship which transcends their misgivings.
'Tyrannosaur' is an uncompromising, and at times, difficult film to watch as the characters' lives are laid bare for the whole audience to observe. Joseph responds to problematic situations through the use of his fists, while Hannah simply acts out of fear and denial. Both Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman give fantastic performances; Mullan is initially a brutish, vagrant looking male who can't naturally become entwined in society, but as the film develops, empathy begins to grow for a man who accepts his short-comings and the fact that he may never be able to overcome them. With humanity arising slowly from his dishevelled face through his relationship with the young, neighbourhood boy Sam (Samuel Bottomley).
While Colman's striking performance, which is far-cry away from her role on the hit British comedy series 'Peep Show,' shows a woman who is conflicted in all manner of her beliefs. Her religious beliefs give her the naivety to believe that her husband can change, while her heart knows that he will only stop hurting her when her beatings become fatal. This is most notable in the scene where James breaks down in tears at her feet after striking out at Hannah, as she cradles his head he constantly professes his love for her repeating the phrase "it won't happen again, you know it won't happen again." Hannah constantly reaffirms his worries saying that she does love him, but as she lowers his head, the camera observes her changing emotions as the audience is shown that Hannah is clearly not a woman in love with James, but instead she is simply afraid of him.
Considine's first directorial effort is certainly a competent effort, he never attempts to direct the audience's attention too far from the script or the two central performances at hand, but this itself is the film's primary flaw. While it is captivating and emotionally unsettling, it is also a narrative which is not uncommon in modern British cinema (or known to some as 'miserable British cinema'), and it portrays the same judgements and ideals as many of its predecessors did before without providing anything new to the sub-genre at hand, especially in the culmination of the sub-plot involving the young boy Sam and his neglectful mother and boyfriend.
Despite its unoriginality in the narrative's conclusive mediation, the film still manages to evoke a strong emotional response from the viewer through its combination of horrifying visuals and fragile performances from the two lead British actors, as Paddy Considine begins his feature film journey with a solid and respectable character portrait of two broken individuals.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In Tyrannosaur, the relatively young but well-established actor Paddy
Considine (he's 37) directs a group of superb British thespians in a
searing drama about a rageoholic widower in the town of Leeds. Basing
his protagonists on unspecified but intimate experiences, and aspects
of his own mother in the dead wife, Considine has written a film that's
intense, brutal, and compelling. It takes us to the deep end of
violence and cruelty but leads us through to a sense of redemption. A
gray, grizzled, lonely, angry pub denizen widower, Joseph (Scot Peter
Mullan, a scary life-force with both violent and sensitive sides)
displays nothing but drinking-fueled violence in the early scenes of
the film, in which he beats his own dog to death, smashes the window of
a bank, and assaults three rowdy youths in a pub when we're barely past
the credits. He runs into a charity shop to hide from the youths, and
it's here he meets Hannah (Olivia Colman, complex and heartrending),
with whom he will be involved throughout the film. Considine strains
the audience's ability to stomach violence and ugliness, but hardly
strains our credulity. He has made what is very close to a great film.
When Joseph hides behind a rack of clothes in the shop, Hannah calms him and prays for him. He begins things on an honest basis with her, declaring, "My best friend's dying of cancer. I killed my dog. I'm f--ked." Visits to his friend and a funeral punctuate the action and add perspective. The next day in a desperate emotional state Joseph returns to the shop again, but is abusive and nasty about Hannah's religiosity and what she later ironically calls her "cozy" life in the Manors housing estates. Now the film's point of view shifts to Hannah. We learn she too drinks whenever the bus takes her home to her suburban house. First it may seem this is to deal with the violent emotions she has absorbed from Joseph, but it soon emerges that she lives in a horribly abusive relationship with her jealous, cruel and desperately unhappy husband James (Eddie Marsan), whose return home is anything but a pleasure. There's a surprising role-reversal that gradually develops between Joseph and Hannah.
James' behavior makes Joseph's violence seem simpler. He urinates on Hannah for falling asleep on the sofa before he gets home, and other cruelties she reveals later that prevented her from childbearing are disgusting (and some of her experiences may strain credulity). Joseph's mood swings are scary while Joseph seems his own worst enemy but not entirely a bad man. For one thing he has one warm relationship with a kid across the street (Samuel Bottomley) who must live with his irresponsible mother (Sian Breckin) and her aggressive punk boyfriend (Paul Popplewell ) but maintains good humor and friendliness toward Joseph. There's some humor if of an insensitive kind too in Joseph's explanation to Hannah of how "Tyrannosaur" came to be his nickname for his overweight diabetic wife, but the word suggests that part of him is a prehistoric raging animal. The film's final scene offers hope for both Hannah and Joseph.
Considine seems just to be establishing character and situation halfway through the film, but when Hannah and Joseph seem equally at risk of violence, inflicted on self or by others, events become tense and suspenseful, and desperate though the characters are, we care about them and wonder what will happen between Hannah and Joseph when she leaves James for the drunken widower as the safer bet. Semi-comical rants from Joseph's drinking scraggly-haired drinking partner Tommy (Ned Dennehy) add flourishes, and the death of Joseph's friend and his funeral, which family and Hannah, now very battered and taking refuge with Joseph, provides a temporary pause before final revelations. Considine is as strong in the plotting as in the character areas, and his choice and directing of actors can't be faulted.
There is intensity and bitter truth in Considine, who steers clear of the edge of wild fantasy one finds in the Irishman Martin McDonagh. His harshness verges on the crude. But considering how well all the elements are managed here, Considine has produced a very impressive debut. He knows how to grab you and hold you all the way through. If you're looking at your watch, it just because you're terrified. Brutal and ugly this world may be, but Considine seems to know it and love it enough to show its truth and humanity. The accomplishment here is to give us lives that seem broken and hopeless and then hold our sympathy and offer a chance of a new beginning that's far from soft and easy. Erik Alexander Wilson's images, which for a welcome change are not distractingly jerky and hand-held, have a kind of limpid clarity, and there are some songs at the funeral that are almost too rich and pretty. Peter Mullan is also a director. He and Eddie Marsan figure in the dark, intense Red Riding trilogy, as does Paddy Considine. Considine is known for his beginning with Shane Meadows, and has significant Hollywood acting credits. His 2007 Bafta-winning short, Dog Altogether, presented Mullan and Colman in the same roles, differently developed.
UK, 91 min. Tyrannosaur had its US debut at Sundance where it won acting awards for Colman and Mullan and a directing award for Considine. A Strand Films US theatrical release is scheduled for October 11, 2011. Seen and reviewed as part of the New Directors/New Films series presented from March 23 to April 4, 2011 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA, NYC.
Tyrannosaur was a tough and sometimes brutal film to watch. It's unsettling to watch both of these characters unravel. The best thing about it was the performances. Peter Mullan was great, but it was Olivia Colman who really stood out. Her character transformation was completely believable, and she was a powerhouse. To me, she was the driving force behind this film. The film takes some really unexpected turns in her character's arc, and by the time its over, it felt more like her film than Mullan's. As of now, she stands as one of the best performances of the year, and I hope many people take notice. Overall, definitely recommended, especially for Colman
Tyrannosaur, on first viewing, immediately brings to mind another
directorial debut by an acclaimed actor, namely Gary Oldman's Nil By
Mouth. The crisis of masculinity, the victimisation of women in
domestic settings, incremental brutalisation of children, and penchant
for violence among certain kinds of weak-willed men are all overlapping
themes. The graphic representation of these themes in visual terms is
also common to both films. And finally, both contain outstanding
performances from their cast.
But writer/director Paddy Considine brings his own stamp to this project in his bold portrayal of an odd couple fleetingly driven together in extreme circumstances. Joseph is a self-loathing, hard-drinking loner, haunted by past failures, particularly in regard to his wife, whom he hit. He tries to make up for his character failings with displays of loyalty to a dying friend. It smacks of too little too late.
Hannah is a devout Christian who works in a Charity Shop during the day, and enjoys a large glass of rioja at night. Her faith is built on less stable foundations than Joseph assumes when they first meet. His attack on her character may well prove to be the last abusive act of his life, such is the scale of regret it will bring in the long-term.
Peter Mullan as Joseph is convincingly lost, playing a character removed by only a few degrees from the father he portrays in Neds. Olivia Colman is simply immense as Hannah, a brittle front easily broached by Joseph's bile, unleashing a fear and unhinged reaction that even the volatile Joseph struggles to comprehend. In between there is a touching vulnerability and unnerving humanity. Eddie Marsan, as the depraved James, once again proves why he is fast becoming Britain's preeminent character actor.
This is character-driven social realist film-making to a certain extent, though there is a prominent three-act structure, exhibited more than in most films of the type, including a quite shocking but satisfying 'surprise' at the end. Tyrannosaur forces you to think about how we treat each other, and about the lives unraveling around us that we choose to turn a blind eye to. A mature debut from Considine, who sets a very high bar for himself.
This superb film represents a coming of age for director Paddy
Considine. It's a work of genius and a genuine work of art.
Stunning performances are delivered by all of the cast members, right down to the minor roles. The wee lad is brilliant! However the stage is stolen by the 2 lead actors, Mullan and Colman. Their chemistry brings tears to the eyes on a number of occasions. Marsan is brilliant too. His character is at times more frightening and sinister than Mullan's, which is obviously what was intended!
The film is at times very hard to watch because there are literally no punches pulled at any point. The ride is worthwhile though - it is utterly compelling, deeply thought provoking stuff. Just brilliant.
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