Sexy Beast: The Review
Directed By: Jonathan Glazer
Starring: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman, Cavan Kendall and Julianne White
Ben Kingsley Nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Check out our Academy Award 2002 Nomination Page here!
Ever since roles like the one's he has portrayed in Gandhi and Schindler's List I am as guilty as the next person to thinking that Ben Kingsley, talented actor that he is, comes off as a bit of a pushover. At least for those of you who think of pushing around Gandhi.
Believe the hype that when you see his portrayal of a masochistic gang lord in Sexy Beast that soft-edged version of him will be forever wiped from memory. This is one mean little movie that has a bizarre chain of events that are not as haphazard as they first appear. Throw in visions of nightmarish gun toting bunnies and you have a surreal accent laden crime film that doesn't hide its brains or mind when it lapses into moral dilemmas.
I lucked out pretty solidly when I snagged this film at last year's Toronto Film Festival. I saw it for the word of mouth on Kingsley alone and man-oh-man am I super pleased I did. I have been waiting patiently to find out what the word would be when this hits the streets. Though I do not have visions of it tearing up the box-office I am sure it will be a solid release with a great sleeper following when it hits the rental markets.
This story can be broken into two halves, the pitch and the act. Kingsley playing Don 'Malky' Logan travels to Spain to convince Gary 'Gal' Dove (Ray Winstone), a retired criminal to do one last heist. Gal is retired and nothing will change his mind, unfortunately, Malky has never understood the concept of someone not seeing things his way. He weaves reason after reason into Gal to convince him and failing that, things begin to turn ugly. Malky is one of the most horrible creatures to hit the screen in awhile and Kingsley, as I have mentioned earlier, has an intensity akin to Keitel or De Niro at their most vicious.
Ray Winstone is not to be left out in the praise, for most of the scene-stealing (accompaniment is a better word) that Kingsley does, the story and its heart still rests with Winstone who does it effortlessly. When we first see him is he bronze, blonde and laying around in his speedo...it isn't until later you begin to realize his retirement from one hellish world led him to this other staid and uninvolved one he now finds trapped within.
Newcomer Jonathan Glazer makes a stunning directorial debut though you may recall some of his recent work in the Guiness Ads that have aired in the last year or so that just cram themselves into your head.
Now, a lot of bad word of mouth has been floating around the British Film scene blaming Guy Ritchie (Lock Stock, Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) and now Glazer for the disintegration of the U.K. Film World. I just can't see how that logic works at all. It's like blaming someone for making a successful film. All three of these are snappy, interesting gangster genre films and blaming one genre for the creative death of an industry seems to me, a trifle absurd. Most likely it's a bunch of yobbo's and tossers whose films didn't make the worldwide circuit and their simply jealous. Lousy tossers.
Copyright© Written By: Rob Paul
Commentary by Ben Kingsley and Producer Jerry Thomas
Video: Widescreen 1.85:1 (Anamorphic)
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 [CC]
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround [CC]
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