Where it all goes wrong is in the direction. McPherson (Saltwater) goes for broad stage-type performances, which looks utterly fake on screen. The guises Tom adopts are sketch-comedy characters, shouting and floundering and far too silly to be remotely believable. And believability is the whole point, since the core idea is that Tom finds the ability to act well only because his life is at stake. Even so, Moran is likeable in the role, and with the exception of a few embarrassing scenes, Caine is terrifically funny (his hilarious running gags keep us chuckling). Meanwhile, Headey (as Gambon's daughter) is the only person in the cast playing it straight--she's far too classy for a ramshackle film like this! As the film progresses, the story gets worse and worse--contrived, obvious, stupid. By the end we're just like the characters: glad to get out of there alive.
dir-scr Conor McPherson|
with Michael Caine, Dylan Moran, Lena Headey, Michael Gambon, Miranda Richardson, Abigail Iversen, Michael McElhatton, Aisling O'Sullivan, Ben Miller, Simon Delaney, Alvaro Licchesi, Damien O'Donnell
release Ireland 17.Apr.03; UK 16.May.03
Karaoke baby. Dolores (Headey) sings a lively duet with Clive, who's actually Tom (Moran) in disguise...
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