Sunday, October 22, 2006

[1980] THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY: This was treeeeemendous, right from the quasi-Tangerine Dream score during the opening credits. Well, actually I was wavering on it for a stretch during the opening half, thinking "this is just a well-plotted caper film" but once things started spiralling out of control it totally sucked me in. Bob Hoskins--I mean, I knew what he was capable of from Unleashed (my second Hoskins picture after Roger Rabbit) but this is a much calmer (and better) performance. You could find bad things to say about this film's take on the Irish--they're sort of the unstoppable amoral Other--or Americans--the mafia guys in this movie have the same role Europeans play in American movies, cruel, cool and calculating supermen--but it wouldn't be worth it. But note how as soon as the Irish boss is killed (who's also a demolition derby driver--so he's quite at home with chaos) there's a literal explosion. That's what this movie is about, a tide of chaos that gradually drowns petty crimelord Bob Hoskins. And Hoskins is amazing. Fabulous stuff, though it's more the result of the script and the performances and not the very inoffensive direction.

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