Thursday, September 16, 2010

In Haste: The Long Good Friday

I am no Britaphile.  The Lock, Stock crowd tends to not hold my interest.  The problem in general is that the protagonists are so unseemly, so convoluted in their own desires, that I never really have buy-in.  Perhaps I'm putting my American 'Save the Cat' fedora on here, but when I can't enter into the protagonists world, and the world outside of him is varnished only by druggies, gunnies, bunnies, and mafiosos, my eyeballs tend to become sooner fixated on the scary faces I can form out of popcorn ceilings.

In the case of this film, almost in spite of itself, the film is completely engrossing.  The director, John Mackenzie, wisely gave his actors plenty of time to breathe within the big scenes.  This is largely a film of responses.  We watch Bob Hoskins reaction with each notification of horrid news.  We sit there with him.  He breathes.  His eyes dart here and there.  He breathes.  He fumes.  He breathes.  And then he calculates his next move.

Now, I'm not a man who often says that the British scare me, but the meat factory scene, tossing us in a sudden upside-down POV shot is pretty darn chilling.  And it lasts a good long while... or rather, a long good while.

Check it out: Hoskins even sports his bicuspids in the shower!
Alright, alright, alright -- I'm throwing sand in your eyes.  All that stuff is swell and all, but this film is about one thing and one thing only. 

Bob Hoskins.  Watch him work his silly Brit magic underbite to perfection!  And here I thought Hoskins invented that full-frontal display of his lower quadrant incisors for his Hoover impression in "Nixon".  No sir!  There it is way back when in 1980.  This is 110 minutes of Bob Hoskins spouting hoop dreams about the future economic vitality of London and then progressively seething more and more ingloriously as the film unfolds.  It's a thing of magnanimous beauty.  I enjoyed my travels through the film immensely.

And now -- since I am sure that you have not had your fill of Hoskinsy good, I present to you now:

A Very Merry Bob Hoskins' Ivory Tribute


We must learn from this man while there is still time.  We must.

No comments:

Post a Comment