Posts Tagged ‘Bob Hoskins’


Dom-Hemmingway-600x400Looks like another actor is taking a page out of Matthew McConaughey’s playbook.

The star’s recent Oscar win for “Dallas Buyer’s Club” was the frosting on the McConaissance cake, the transformation from shirtless rom com star to serious leading man.

Jude Law seems to have taken note, trading in the “pretty young thing” roles of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” and “Alfie” in favor of darker character pieces. His latest, “Dom Hemingway,” is his most noir creation yet.

When we first meet Mr. Hemmingway he’s in jail, a safecracker with anger issues in the midst of a twelve-year stretch. Upon release he looks up best friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant), a one-handed small time crook who reconnects him with former boss Mr. Fontaine (Demian Bichir), an elegant but deadly crime lord. The way Dom sees it Mr. Fontaine owes him a great deal of money for keeping his mouth shut in prison but a near death experience changes everything.

“Dom Hemingway” is not a great movie. It is weirdly paced and betrays it’s hard edge with sentimentality but it is worth seeing despite itself; worth seeing because of Jude Law’s performance.

“I am a legend, a myth, a glorious tale to be handed down from generation to generation,” Hemmingway boasts, with a self worth almost as broad as his vocabulary. He’s an uneducated thug with a way with words and Law brings him to vivid whiskey soaked life in an aggressively comic performance.

Twenty years ago the part would have been played by Bob Hoskins or Ray Winstone, rough and tumble actors with a built in sense of menace. Law, by contrast, doesn’t seem to be an obvious substitute, but it’s the kind of character part that suits him. In retrospect he always seemed an uncomfortable fit in some of his leading man roles that relied more on his charm than talent. Here he brings an unexpectedly dangerous but funny vibe to the film, reminiscent of Ben Kingsley’s work in “Sexy Beast.”

Whether he is bragging that his manhood could save starving children in Somalia, in a bravura opening monologue, or staring moon-eyed at his estranged daughter, Law is better than the movie in a role that could come to redefine his career.


Last Orders (USE)Based on a Booker Prize winning novel by Graham Swift, Last Orders examines the way people express their grief when a close friend passes away. Jack (Michael Caine) dies, leaving behind his childhood friends (Bob Hoskins, David Hemmings and Tom Courtenay), a wife (Helen Mirren) and reserved son (Ray Winstone). His friends and son take his ashes to Margate, a two-hour drive outside of London. Along the way, through flashbacks, we learn of the complex roles that these men have played in each other’s lives. Although it is a heartbreaking ride, there is nothing morose about this movie. The old friends argue and tell jokes, remembering Jack in their own unique ways. The common thread being that while they are sad he died, they are even happier that he had lived and graced their lives. The superior acting skills of Hoskins, Hemmings, Courtenay and Winstone rescue the film from director Fred Schepisi’s languid direction. Helen Mirren (who doesn’t accompany the guys on their ash-scattering mission) shines in her scenes with her hospitalized daughter. If only Schepisi had picked up the pace a little this could have been a real winner. As it is Last Orders is only marginally recommended.