Tyrranosoar (BRIT) Director Paddy Considine Written by Paddy Considine Starring Peter Mullan; Olivia Colman; Eddie Marsdan; Paul Poppelwell; Ned Dennehy; Samuel Bottomley; Sian Breckin
Arising out of a long history of British realism (what was once “kitchen sink” and has more recently been dubbed “neo-realism” or “miserabilist cinema”), actor Paddy Considine writes and directs this slice of life drama that is not for the squeamish. The brilliant Peter Mullan (My Name is Joe; Neds; Boy A; The Red Riding Trilogy) plays the anti-social, misanthropic, alcoholic Joseph, a man haunted by the past and still prone to fits of violent rage that hint at mental illness. Into his microscopic sphere comes Hannah (a superb Olivia Colman), the owner of a christian charity shop, who attempts to extend him some kindness. Joseph is initially put off by her talk of God, and her propensity for prayer, and being the animal he is almost immediately zeroes in viciously on the weakness and hurt he senses in her. As time passes, however, their lives become intertwined in ways neither of them could have likely suspected. Eddie Marsdan (Happy-Go-Lucky; Vera Drake) provides sterling support as Hannah’s abhorrent husband James, giving the kind of brave performance not often seen in film anywhere. Considine employs a host of other actors unknown in this country, getting uniformly excellent, authentic feeling turns. The vision ultimately is a bleak one, and there is perhaps an overdose on the tragic factor, but there are so many things to like about the film that one can almost overlook the piling on. Mullan and Considine somehow manage to squeeze some humanity out of a mostly despicable sort, and refuse to let the character off the hook (the very title has to do with the man’s cruelty). It is this kind of fidelity to story and to the people populating it that makes one hope that Considine’s first feature is not his last. Erik Wilson (Submarine) gives the bleak surroundings a loving cinematic touch, and Colman is Mullan’s equal in the piece, which is no small statement.