Tyrannosaur (2011) is director Paddy Considine’s first feature-length film, and is inspired by the goings-on on his Midlands council estate during his youth. You can get the film on DVD region 1, stream it on Amazon Instant, or rent it from Facets.
Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a man who is more than down on his luck. He’s an asshole. He can’t control his temper. It’s a wonder he’s not in jail for smashing post office windows, beating people senseless in the local pub, and kicking his dog to death. He has no redeemable qualities, but goodie-goodie Hannah (Olivia Colman) wants to help him anyway. He doesn’t fully open up to her and he certainly doesn’t accept her Jesus-driven way of life, but he does seek the comfort of her charity shop more than once. This is lucky for Hannah because when her abusive husband (Eddie Marsan) gives her a black eye, she needs someone she can turn to.
Well done Paddy Considine for such realism. He bypasses all cliches and weaves together a plot that will surprise you around every corner. After the film has ended, you will find yourself playing back the scenes in your head, recognizing the genius that hides double-meanings in every line and action.
The acting is subtle. Both Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman are brilliant in it. You’ve seen Olivia Colman in a billion things, but if you really want to appreciate her Academy-worthy dramatic talents, you have to see Tyrannosaur. And if you’re playing along, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan, and Paddy Considine were all in the Cornetto Trilogy films (the last two, though not all together).
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