Death at a Funeral (15)
Friday 02 November 2007
The press screening of this was like a foreglimpse of death, only with fewer laughs. It quickly became apparent that we might be watching the most ineptly written film of the year. An ensemble of familiar Brit faces (Jane Asher, Matthew Macfadyen, Kris Marshall, Peter Vaughan et al) gather for the funeral of a family patriarch, and writer Dean Craig engineers around them a mortifyingly dismal farce involving pill-popping misadventures, a blackmailing dwarf, an incontinent uncle and a funeral eulogy that's meant to mark a touching emotional finale but sounds as feeble and ill-managed as everything else.
Ewen Bremner gives a career-worst performance, while the rest of the cast merely sink under the dead weight of Frank Oz's direction. You'll wince and fidget and groan, and finally wonder at the nerve of the film-makers who thought they could get away with this.
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