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#1 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 24 January 2011 - 10:27 PM

Jeffrey Wells:

The most original adult love story I've seen in ages. Easily the biggest shock of the Sundance Film Festival so far. I didn't see this one coming -- it's a much stronger and more focused film than I expected from a smallish British drama about an older working-class guy with a temper problem. It curiously touches.

Tyrannosaur is a drama that deals almost nothing but surprise cards -- a tough story of discipline, redemption and wounded love. Cheers to director-writer Considine for making something genuine and extra-unique. He's not just an actor who's branched into directing with a special facility for coaxing good performances -- he's a world-class director who knows from shaping, cutting, timing, holding back and making it all come together. . . .

The beast of the title is Joseph (Mullan), an alcoholic, widowed, violence-prone rage monster who lives alone in Leeds. He all but melts when he encounters Hannah (Colman), a kind and trusting shop merchant who shows Joseph a little tenderness. Hannah talks the Christian talk but is just as close to alcohol, which she's turned to as a sanctuary from her ghastly marriage to a homely, ultra-possessive monster of another sort (Marsan) who brings violence and subjugation to Hannah on a constant basis. . . .



#2 Darrel Manson

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 10:22 AM

Hmm. Actually the beast of the title is Joseph's dead wife - he called her that, but certainly he (and others) fit the name.

A modest crowd at the screening at LAFF. Seems to be under the radar, and I don't think it should be.

It's scheduled to open in October.

written and directed by Paddy Considine.

#3 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:07 PM



#4 Overstreet

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 01:28 AM

Ken Morefield is losing his... composure over this one. He's been tweeting things like "See it. See it. See it. See it. See it."

And now here's his review.

So now, well... I can't wait to see it see it see it see it!

#5 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 02:55 AM

FWIW, I'll be seeing it the opening night of the Vancouver film festival, on September 29. Right after seeing Like Crazy.

#6 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 02:58 AM

Kenmorefield, if you're reading this, I have to say I'm not really sure what you're on about, especially towards the end of your review. I get that you don't want to get into spoilers, but... okay, I want to get into spoilers.

I am also curious as to whether there was any laughter (nervous or otherwise) at the screening you attended. Peter Mullan is such an over-the-top rageaholic from the very first minute we see him that I think some of his statements and actions -- not all, by any stretch, but a few, at least -- had the effect of... of... well, he began to remind me of the Jack Nicholson character in As Good as It Gets, who always said politically-incorrect things, and whose tendency to say such things had audience members waiting for his next verbal explosion. (I certainly don't think Paddy Considine intends for there to be any laughter the way that James L. Brooks did, but something about the way the film and the character are constructed may lend itself to that effect... maybe.)

I will say that I appreciated the sequence in which a certain character stands up for herself, and briefly feels a moment of private empowerment, and then suddenly finds the stakes raised in a rather horrifying manner.

Oh, one other film that came to mind while watching this one: Sling Blade, and its suggestion that sometimes violence -- brutal, remorseless violence -- IS the appropriate thing to do, especially when it's in defense of the defenseless. (I am referring here to the bit with the dog, which admittedly takes place AFTER the kid is harmed rather than before, BUT the point is made that Mullan's character probably SHOULD have intervened earlier, and it was his effort to turn the other cheek -- partly under the influence of the religious lady -- that held him back.)

#7 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 03:04 AM

Oh, one other, trivial thing: It's hard to make out what the actors are saying sometimes, but am I correct in thinking that, when Peter Mullan moons someone, he yells "Freedom!"? If so, then that's a fun little bit of intertextuality, considering that Mullan himself had a part in Braveheart way back when.

#8 kenmorefield

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 01:55 PM

Kenmorefield, if you're reading this...,


Peter, I have a Google alert that searches for "Kenneth R. Morefield" or "kenmorefield" and sends me an e-mail when there is a new web page that has that string of characters in, so, yeah, I usually see things if/when someone mentions me by name. (I may not if there is just a link to my review or something I said....at least not unless I'm in here for something else.) That said, I'm always flattered when anyone thinks enough of my work to post something about it, comment about it, or read it, even though (especially though?) I try to avoid engaging in A&F too much because there is too much snideness and/or argument (of a style and sort that I don't care for) for my taste.

I have to say I'm not really sure what you're on about, especially towards the end of your review. I get that you don't want to get into spoilers, but... okay, I want to get into spoilers.


Appreciate much your tone of inquiry and respect rather than dismissiveness.

I guess what I mean in general by the end of my review is that

Spoiler


on a more specific level, if you are referring to
Spoiler
I mean that
Spoiler


I've been waffling since Toronto whether this or The Kid With a Bike is my favorite film of the year so far, right now

Spoiler


#9 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 12:42 PM

Ken, just a quick note to let you know I haven't forgotten about this thread. I've been so busy the past week-and-a-bit hopping around films at the festival, though, that I haven't had much time to think more deeply about this one (or about your blog post on it, or about your comment here). I appreciate your thoughtfulness, though.

The one thing I think I can say at this point is that Considine did not come to the VIFF, so I had no idea that he had based on any of the characters on his mother or, indeed, that he had "split" his mother into two characters. I am especially struck by the way you took something positive away from the Mullan character's description of his dead wife, when the only thing that stuck in my mind was his description of how she died -- which wasn't exactly flattering. There may have been a more positive element that I missed, though -- and I wonder to what degree I might have missed it because the accents in this movie are pretty thick sometimes! Like, I-sometimes-wished-the-movie-had-subtitles thick, sometimes.

#10 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 14 October 2011 - 04:15 AM

An interesting reference here to the "Christian friends" of Considine's who let Colman observe their prayer meetings...



I found the video through Jeffrey Wells, who also linked to this much longer review:



#11 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 12:06 AM

Say what you will about Jeffrey Wells, but when he likes a film, he really goes to the mat for it. He and his readers have just raised $2,000 to sponsor three press screenings, in a bid to boost the movie's chances of getting attention during awards season.

#12 M. Leary

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 11:19 AM

I am in Ken Morefield's camp on this one (and his comment about Considine distributing the memory of his mother across two characters is brilliant. This is an important observation, I think, about how we use film and literature to distribute the complexity of our feelings about our parents and significant others across multiple fictional nodes. This is both an enlightening and charitable movement that deserves more reflection.)

Above, PTC talks about how the lead in this film may sometimes tend toward Jack Nicholson mugging and I went into the film with this comment in mind. But it quickly dissolved, as the lead is the same guy I have seen in many a pub grimacing over a pint. And then the woman that he encounters holds the exact tensions between piety and legitimate fear that I have seen over and over again in the lives of various Christians. I like that this film is essentially a study in anger, but this study takes place in a much larger and more important story about a victim of someone else's anger. It captures the terrible cycle of abuse and shame that short circuits so many family histories, but then it also confronts us with the elusiveness of redemption.

I am really grateful for this film and find myself wanting to show it to people. It isn't nice. It requires some serious endurance. And even if it may not lead us to any thing that actually looks like redemption or healing, it kind of does. I could sense that the film was a sort of catharsis for the director, and interviews with Considine seem to bear this out. But from my perspective, the film seemed to be about that moment in which hidden angers and violences rise to break the back of one's ability to dissociate faith and practice. There is a certain spot in the film where the characters seem to realize: I have thought incorrectly about everything. (This is an insufficient description of what happens, but I am still trying to parse this out...)

I guess I have been struck lately by how experiences of violence and trauma break our willingness to hold onto certain beliefs simply because we have been trained to believe them.

Victimization both burdens and liberates us, but this can only be stated with the terrible caveat that victims may not always be free to actually exercise this new freedom.

So yes: see it, see it, see it, see it...

Edited by M. Leary, 28 November 2011 - 11:20 AM.


#13 kenmorefield

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 02:53 PM

I guess I have been struck lately by how experiences of violence and trauma break our willingness to hold onto certain beliefs simply because we have been trained to believe them.


Yeah, that is well put. (The whole post is, actually.) I like especially that you don't link this exclusively to Hannah. Joseph has things he believes just, well, because...and we get glimmers of recognition throughout...of a different way of seeing, of something other than what he has always known. (Whichever way you parse that.) The moment when he holds a club and says to the dog on the leash something like "it's not your fault..." Wow.

Anyway, I don't know if I mentioned this in my review or in this thread, but I was reminded while watching War Horse, which also had Mullan and Eddie Marsan in it, that Considine said at TIFF that he made Eddie Marsan read for the role, which was something he was worried about...not because he wasn't sure Marsan could do it but because the scenes between Hannah and her husband were so difficult that he did not feel like he could ask Olivia Colman to do them unless she was secure about the actor playing the scene with her). I found that touching and telling in a way.

#14 kenmorefield

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:19 PM

Ken Morefield is losing his... composure over this one. He's been tweeting things like "See it. See it. See it. See it. See it."

And now here's his review.

So now, well... I can't wait to see it see it see it see it!


It's now streaming on Netflix in the USA, so now you can, in fact, see it, see it, see it!

#15 J.A.A. Purves

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 08:46 AM

I saw this over the weekend with every intention of writing about it afterwards and, wow, this is not going to be easy to write about.

There's no question that Joseph is drawn to Hannah at least partly because of her faith. That, and her faith dictates that she ought to act towards and treat him a certain way, so she shows kindness to him when it seems pretty obvious she doesn't want to and clearly has other fairly important things on her mind.

It's such a somber film that, if you don't think about it afterwards, then you're not going to like it. But once you start thinking about the choices these characters are making, you start to appreciate them more.

#16 Crow

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 11:41 PM

I just saw this, and it's a drama like nothing else I've seen. The complications of relationships between very damaged people, some who have had damage done to them, and some wrestling with internal demons, as well as an anger-soaked culture. The interplay between religious faith and personal coping shown in the film, I found to be realistic, particularly among characters that have been damaged so much. There is so much to think about, and I feel I have barely scratched the surface. I think one could write a thesis about the themes about personal anger and
Spoiler

Edited by Crow, 11 May 2012 - 11:45 PM.


#17 Attica

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Posted 05 January 2013 - 11:13 PM

Just finished watching this and wow I thought it was incredible. Lots to reflect on and I suspect I will be for awhile. I don't think that this is a film that one moves away from quickly.

#18 M. Leary

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 12:37 PM

Attica, it isn't. I still think about this film often, and I haven't seen it for a year now. Still on Netflix.

#19 Attica

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 03:08 PM

Attica, it isn't. I still think about this film often, and I haven't seen it for a year now. Still on Netflix.

What's really standing out for me right now is how easily this film could of gone south and become read as being sadistic. But it didn't, I think the film has a love for humanity. My wife didn't like the film much because of its graphic nature and the fact that it made her feel sad. I responded that I don't think the film is supposed to make us happy. I think it's supposed to make us better. To look at own lives and those around us, so that we as individuals and society can prevent from going down those paths.

#20 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 06 January 2013 - 08:58 PM

M. Leary wrote:
: Attica, it isn't. I still think about this film often, and I haven't seen it for a year now. Still on Netflix.

But not in Canada, which is where Attica lives.