Down Terrace (15)
Friday 30 July 2010
Whenever a British gangster film lumbers on to the horizon one tends to fear a) the worst and b) the appearance of Danny Dyer.
But Ben Wheatley's debut is something genuinely different: the portrait of a Brighton-based family whose humdrum domesticity makes The Sopranos look positively imperial. Its low-key naturalism feels closer to The Office than to crime drama. At its centre is a father (Robert Hill) and son (Robin Hill) who love and resent one another, the latter just out of jail and brooding over which one of their minions grassed him up. The script, by Wheatley and Robin Hill, is at its strongest in the early scenes of domestic bickering, its changes of gear from menace to mildness as sudden as they are droll. With their folk-guitar singalongs and willow-pattern dinner plates, it's sometimes hard to discern beneath the middle-class paraphernalia any sense of criminality at all. But slowly the mood darkens, a visitor from London reminds the family of their duties, and what seemed quirky becomes sinister and unhinged. Violence proliferates like chain lightning. The last reel isn't nearly so involving as the first, but there's plenty here to encourage hope for what Wheatley and Hill try next.
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
comedy Erm...he seems to be back
tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa
tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 PlayStation and Xbox hacked by Lizard Squad
- 2 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 3 The Grace Dent Christmas Questionnaire
- 4 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 5 Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'