Dom Hemingway (2013)
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If you took the best parts of 'Snatch' and 'Trainspotting', then you would have 'Dom Hemingway', but with a little more heart and soul. And I've been a big fan of Jude Law for many years, but I've never seen him play a role like this. He really gave it his all and lost himself in the title character, Dom. Law mixed Tom Hardy's Bronson character with Leo Dicaprio's Jordon Belfort character from 'The Wolf of Wall- Street', with a pinch of Danny Ocean from 'Ocean's 11' to create Dom, and the results are as fun watching the film as I imagine Law had playing the character. Shepard's script is brilliantly smart, funny, witty, and all the right kinds of cool. I just hope you have as much fun as I did with the film.
'Dom Hemingway' opens up with Dom (Law) giving one of the best if not the very best opening monologue in cinema history as he describes in great comedic detail how amazing his downstairs member is. Dom is in prison, serving a good amount of time for a crime he committed several years ago. Turns out that Dom is a pretty successful safe cracker and thief, who worked for Mr. Fontaine (Demian Bichir) along with his right-hand man and best friend Dickie Black (Richard E. Grant), who is excellent in this film - costumes and all.
Once out of prison, Dom sets out on an epic bender full of drugs, alcohol, and hookers. I guess he had to make up for lost time in the can all in one night, which he most certainly did. But the task at hand is to travel to Mr. Fontaine's estate and get his deserved money and bonus for the several big jobs he did before he got thrown in prison, with a possibility of hoping right back on the safe-cracking bandwagon. After an accident leaves a couple dead, but Dom and Dickie alive, they rush back to the estate to find that Mr. Fontaine's girlfriend taking off with all of Dom's money.
This sets in motion a series of events that has Dom tracking down this woman and trying to find work, which proves more difficult that he expected due to his outrageous behavior. Meanwhile, we find out that Dom had a family before he landed himself in prison. He was married to a beautiful woman who died while he was incarcerated and now his daughter Evelyn (Emilia Clarke from 'Game of Thrones') is grown up and has a family of her own. But Evelyn is not to keen on her father, as he has been away for most of her life and doesn't even call him dad, but rather Dom.
The movie takes a turn and shows that Dom wants to change his ways and become the father figure to her as well as a grandfather to his cute grandson. But all the while, Dom is still that wild and crazy thief who can pick up a large metal safe, pretend to have sex with it, knock out a wall or two, and open the safe all within a few minutes. And Shepard tells this great tale with sincerity and style. No matter how Dom conducts himself, you just want to be his friend and be there with him on his adventures, even though he seems to have a run of bad luck. And Law just pulls out all of the stops and delivers an award winning performance. Clarke is great here too, but is not given a whole lot of screen time do really dive into the character. The costumes are straight out of a Wes Anderson movie, and I won't be surprised to see somebody dress up like these characters for Halloween this year.
If you're looking for an incredible time at the theater and want to laugh for 93 minutes straight, then by all means, get out and see 'Dom Hemingway' as many times as you can.
The lasting impression is the tremendous energy of the script and Jude Law - it could really be a stage play in places - it is not often these days that movies create energy through an excellent script, rather than energy by effects - this does.
No way is this the greatest film of the year - but Jude Law's performance is full of sly humour, and Richard E Grant obviously loved being the dry sidekick - there is more than a touch of Withnail to the whole proceedings and he is superb.
Dom Hemingway avoids squeamish violence in the main and goes for the jugular in its script instead - it even has more than a touch of pathos admid the insanity. All in all, if you like films with some style, real laughs, and energy - and crude craziness - then this fits the bill better than most.
A watered down Bronson, a film of similar premise, Dom Hemingway is delightfully dark, similar to his psyche – he is disgusting, filthy, violent and loud, but he retains an iota of charm, one of the few things dragging the film along. Bearing numerous similarities to Refn's prisoner character study, Dom Hemingway is truly a visual feast: the pumping nightlife of downtown London is full of colour and life. The screen is constantly full of greens and yellows, reds and pinks – it isn't dull to look at. While it isn't as intrusive and cerebral as Refn's terrifying glimpse into the mind of a madman, Dom Hemingway and Bronson share two familiar traits: a strong cockney accent and a loud mouth.
While they may retain similarities, they are largely superficial – I must apologise for my comparison of the two, they are different films, but it fluently highlights Dom Hemingway's numerous flaws. Dom's charisma simply doesn't compare to that of Bronson's, from the way he carries himself to the way he walks through the streets and alleys. While the loud and ostentatious Bronson was an addict to attention, Dom slinks into the shadows the way he slinks into a chair; sleazy and slouched. When opportune, he indulges in delightful monologue, Shakespearean in his formidable vocabulary, but it all tastes a slight bit overdone. The script, like Hemingway himself, is largely self-indulgent and masturbatory, and is surely tiresome.
Ignoring the occasionally obnoxious monologue, Dom powerfully commands the screen, even if his persona is quite the opposite. Separated from his cigarettes and whiskey for twelve years, he takes great pleasure in his intoxicated over-indulgement. For example, over three days Dom compensates for twelve years of seclusion with alcohol, drugs and prostitutes – but it doesn't really work, he just ends up very hungover indeed. Such is the life of Dom Hemingway, fuelled by toxicants and greed, when there really are better things to do – reconnect with his long-since abandoned daughter perhaps. Dom's antithesis, his daughter Evelyn (Emelia Clarke, Game of Thrones), is a force to be reckoned with; the opposite of her father's boisterous exterior, she is instead quiet and passive. Contrasting the pounding nightclubs of London, she sings in a country club, her voice soft and soothing compared to her father's loose and loud tongue.
Unfortunately, Dom Hemingway has little punch. The first act is incredibly enjoyable, but act by act, its quality subsides. Fast paced exposition, into an extremely average midpoint, into an abysmal climax (I must admit I enjoyed the final scene), it grew less and less entertaining. Dom Hemingway forgot what it set out to be – its foul-mouthed, violent charm was abducted and replaced by a crowd-pleasing father-daughter subplot. It was unnecessary, contrived, and clichéd. The obnoxious American's shoehorned exposition was similarly sloppy, revealing the (already obvious) moral of the story in last-minute exposition – it became extremely unnecessary and artificial.
Jude Law performs excellently, as does the majority of the cast, yet Hemingway's left-hand-less right-hand man Dickie (Richard E. Grant, The Corpse Bride) completely steals the show, injecting wit and energy into every scene, contrasting Hemingway's rambunctious bluntness. Unfortunately, it isn't enough to elevate Dom Hemingway's paradoxically undercooked-while-overcooked dialogue. With an over-emphasis on Hemingway's verbose monologue and an under-emphasis on every else, Dom Hemingway is a superficial, attractive, generally fun film with little depth – I'm sure no one would be bothered if they saw this as a rental, but I wouldn't suggest going out of your way for it.
This tale tells of a man named you guessed it Dom Hemingway. Dom is just getting finished serving a 12 year sentence in prison, and he is looking the money that is due him. Dom is a professional safe-cracker and upon getting out re-teams with his close friend named Dickie portrayed by Richard E. Grant, and together they will be paying a visit to their boss Mr. Fontaine. Drugs, booze, and immaturity seem to keep Dom off of the path of the straight and narrow, and will he be able to fend off hookers, gangsters, and the high-life? Well people there are challenging performances, there are risky performances, and there are bold performances and then there is the performance of Jude Law as Dom Hemingway. From the film's opening paragraphs Dom annihilates dignity and respect, and simply shoves himself down the throats of the viewing audience. This is without question one of the gutsiest roles that I have seen in quite some time, and with some brilliant spoken dialogue Jude Law delivers a tour-de-force portrayal of one of the most likable scumbags in the history of cinema. I will not even insult Law by comparing his creation to anything else. Dom Hemingway isn't like this person from this movie or that person from that movie, and that's because Don Hemingway is 100% original.
This brings me to the wonderful Richard E. Grant who shines very bright in this feature. He is the balance and contrast to the ridiculous and outrageous behavior of Jude law. Throughout this movie Richard Grant has the absolute best facial expressions and reactions that you could possibly ask for, and he will have you laughing many times in this movie without even saying a word.
Now you must give credit where credit is due, and we wouldn't have a story, dialogue, or personalities without writer and director Richard Shepard. This man has committed to paper the best dialogue that I have ever heard that was not written by Quentin Tarantino or Aaron Sorkin, and the way that he can generate moments of sincerity in "Dom Hemingway" is just baffling. Shepard's real talent lies in the fact that he creates real people first, and then surrounds those real characters into a solid story. This director's choices of art, music, slow motion techniques, and many other things are perfect accoutrements to this world given us, and I can't wait to see what writer/director Richard Shepard will give us next.
My honest opinion in describing this film would have me calling it like being shot out of a gun for about an hour and a half, and the pacing of "Dom Hemingway" very much reminded me of Doug Limon's overlooked gem "GO!" For as outrageous and messed up as this film is Shepard never overlooks the golden rule of filmmaking, and in turn creates a solidly entertaining film that is just fun to be a part of. "Dom Hemingway" will actually take at least 3 viewings just to get all of its wit, and on top of everything Shepard creates a quality looking film.
Now there are a couple of things that I must address and they really aren't anything negative. The first is that Dom is an absolute 100% scumbucket, and it is safe to say that not all people are going to like or appreciate him. Dom is a relentless, vulgar, womanizing, violent, drug abusing criminal, and he will not sit as well with others as he does with myself. The best example that I can think of is Vincent & Jules from "Pulp Fiction". These 2 individuals are less than admirable in almost every aspect of humanity, but somehow you love these 2 guys. Next I hope that I have not built this movie up too much for people, and in turn set their expectations through the roof on this one. I just loved this movie, and I hope that other enjoy it as much as I do.
At Just over 1 hour and 30 minutes "Dom Hemingway" was not only my favorite film of the entire festival, but it is without question one of my new all-time favorite films. The biggest issue that I have with this movie is that it will not be released until next April 2014, and it won't be on DVD until about a year from now. When this film becomes available for purchase I can say with absolute certainty that I will repeatedly watch this one until I have major portions of the dialogue memorized, and I will put this one right up there with "The Usual Suspects" & "Reservoir Dogs" when it comes to being re-watchable. I have always been a fan of Jude Law and I have always respected him as an actor, but now I think that he is an acting flipping God! Nick's Reel Screen Review is a perfect 4 stars out of 4, and that's for the risky, challenging, and precarious "Dom Hemingway".
The accent, the pronunciation and overall persona from Dom Hemingway just screams Bronson. If you haven't seen Bronson then you won't be able to associate it as easily and probably will enjoy the character more. I don't bring it up to in any way discourage Jude Law's performance; it is a great portrayal of a banged up Londoner who's out for financial retribution. A role you really can't associate with Jude Law and he does it justice on so many levels. It's not him that's the problem, it's the character. Not just the Bronson comparison, but the constant ranting throughout the film; full of synonyms and thesaurus like tirades. It becomes very repetitive.
There are some really funny moments, but like with the rest of the film the comedy starts to become slightly tedious. It is Dickie (Richard E Grant) who produces a lot of the witty comedy; he is funny throughout.
Still, a fairly good film with some good performances, violence, comedy, and a story of a hopeful father/daughter reconciliation to add to that.
The plot involves Dom serving 12 years in prison to protect his crime boss, and his odyssey in pursuit of the reward he feels is his due. Dom has anger management issues and is clearly admired by his fellow prisoners and feared by the civilians who know him. Melody is one of the hookers the crime boss rewards Dom with. Later in the film she reappears as a sort of angelic seer who helps him change his life and his luck.
On his release from prison Dom meets up with an old friend, a criminal named Dickie, who sticks with Dom on his crusade to get his reward for his 12 year sacrifice. Dickie is played magnificently by Richard E. Grant, a British actor who looks a bit like a young Max von Sydow.
"Dom Hemingway" starts off with a shocker scene of an almost unrecognisable Jude Law. His appearance is drastically changed from his heartthrob days! The unrecognisable Jude Law then goes on a monologue about his assets, which is so offensive and funny at the same time. Throughout the film, he puts on a good performance as an arrogant, ego-centric, foul mouthed alcoholic crook. Yet, he is likable for some unknown reason. His misbehaviour keeps on being entertaining, and the emotional elements work well too. The humour is a bit dark, but it is funny. For example, the car crash scene where people and objects (especially the hand) fly around made me laugh! I enjoyed watching "Dom Hemingway" a lot.
It has a couple of funny moments, but this movie is just too forced to be naturally funny. If you want to watch a film with a similar mood, but done better, I would recommend Filth for you.
Overall this was mostly a funny film that is worth watching, even if its just for Jude Law's terrific performance. He absolutely made this film!
Dom Hemingway as a character and movie falls well short of what it could have been, essentially the movie storyline is:- criminal goes to jail for 12 years for honouring a 'criminal code', comes out talking line an extremely angry Royal Shaspearan actor with a cockney accent, gets drunk gets more angry, shouts and swear with , to or act old friends, in passing remembers he has a daughter that he wishes to reconcile with kind of doesn't The End. Style over substance very disappointing.
But from the first, very confronting second, it's clear that he is much, much different. Without spoiling anything, you'll find him confronting, arrogant, taller, more muscular than ever before. It will shock you, surprise you but even more important: entertain you.
Law takes us to life after prison, to find out much has changed, except for him. In his head, he is still a legend and acts like one, while realizing that his life and his time in prison cost him dearly.
Be warned: the way Law acts, approaches the line between acting and over-acting, which will take a lot of your patience. But Law manages to do it tongue-in-cheek, while still displaying genuine emotions. This movies is more than just about a man after prison, picking up the pieces with some slapstick moments. It's about a man who is who he is, but also learns to change. Who doesn't care, but learns to care.
Law succeeds in finding a balance between comedy and seriousness. Between drama and satire. In this he creates a character that you can love, like, dislike, hate. But whatever it is, you WILL remember him and feel for him in the end.
Looking like we have never seen him before Jude Law is an overweight, bearded and yellow toothed hooligan who possesses not an ounce of a redeeming feature. Law is clearly relishing his time being let loose playing such a profanity spouting lout but his sheer enthusiasm to the role can not transcend the man and the tale the film tells about him to any length of entertainment and the films slight tale becomes unwelcome after a mere 30 or so minutes. Law is ably supported by renowned character actor Richard E. Grant as his left hand man Dickie but Grant also doesn't have an overly redeeming character and if we are asked to get on board with criminals they need to transcend from there evil deeds like Guy Ritchie so successfully did and does in his crime capers but Shepard shows no flair for this genre.
With one memorable scene set on a night set country road Dom Hemingway is devoid of any true originality and seemingly thought that the fact it had such a vile central figure and such seedy dialogue it would resonate with the ever willing audience of such ventures. Dom's plight to get money for his jail time and reconnect to his estranged family is so overly familiar also that it's pretty clear the film is no where near as original or fresh as it feels it is. As a crime caper its virtually non-existent and as a comedy it's seriously lacking in proper laughs therefore making the whole exercise a venture into meaninglessness.
Jude Law fans may want to endure this journey for what is arguable one of his more out there and committed performances but even Law's ability to go to great lengths to inhabit this man is not worth the pain of 90 minutes worth of unlikable and uninteresting plot with a bunch of people who your pretty glad to say goodbye to. If your looking for similar and much better British criminal fair dust off Snatch and enjoy.
1 and a half red haired singing Daenerys out of 5
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Jude Law's performance is spectacular. I mean ... what was that ??? Immense nerve ,great adjustment into the psychology of the unlucky dramatic criminal whose daughter hates him.
I guess you can claim it is a character driven film , but do consider its not just that.
And i guess thats what a contemporary film really is. It is complex and intricate , because there are so many predecessors , and life today is so weird in complex ways , you need to portray some of it , if you want to produce current auras.
Thats what its all about. And it succeeds it with great, real dialog , great acting , good plot development and solid direction and photography.
I feel sorry for people who saw this and said " shallow story " or
that it copies Guy Richie or a 2008 film Bronson.
Stop taking things for granted , erase your prejudice , be aware that there certainly is obscene language and scenes , although not way far out , unless you're a nun or an ultra conservative in which case avoid this film.
Otherwise , go watch it and judge for yourself. - 8/10
Nothing redeeming in this thing. Saw it all better in Sexy Beast & that was no great shakes either but at least Kingsley can be truly menacing, not just pathetic like an overweight Jude Law.
I don't know what's going on with Hollywood. They have certainly turned up the nasty. It's so much worse now than it was even 5 years ago. It's to the point now that out of 5 movies I'm lucky if one is worth watching. Really makes me sad because I really like actors like Jude Law and I know he can perform but that's not the point. Everything you take in becomes a part of your human experience and I don't want to add smutty, lousy, nasty filth to my human experience. Now I'm wondering if IMDb actually believes in the first amendment or only if it agrees with their own review and views.