Wednesday, October 05, 2011
Red Riding: 1974
Posted by Landshark
2009 **** 1/2
Remember Octo's analysis of movies that try to capture the look/feel of an earlier time period--he used Boogie Nights as his example of one that looked a bit too pretty for the 70s. Well, I was thinking about that review while watching this completely kickass crime thriller set in Northern England in 1974. Now, I wasn't in Yorkshire in 1974, but damn I'm convinced that this is what it looked and smelled and felt like. And thank god I'm just guessing, as it looks a right proper shite-hole, to borrow a phrase.
This is the first in a trilogy of flicks based loosely on an apparently famous serial killing case called the Yorkshire Ripper--or rather, based on a series of novels inspired by that case. This isn't a horror movie by any stretch, but it's a brutal thriller sort of in the tradition of Silence of the Lambs (though better than that overrated Anthony Hopkins scene munchfest, IMO).
A burned out Gypsy encampment with floating ash.
For one thing, this is just a damn beautiful movie. But that's weird to say, since what it does is beautifully capture a fucking ugly piece of the earth. Yorkshire in the 70s was apparently a dirty barren minor urban backwater, with all the architectural panache of Soviet cement block houses. It's just drab and depressing thinking of people living in these places. And the acting is fantastic across the board--the lead is that guy from the excellent Ishigruo adaptation from last year, "Never Let Me Go." These two roles have made him one of my favorite young actors to watch--he's got an interesting vulnerability for a leading man type. Sean Bean shows up as the local goon in charge, and a host of other top notch British actors who you'll sort of recognize are here too.
Definitely one to check out.
at 7:24 PM