Celebrating Great Films

Sunday, November 28, 2010

In Bruges

#193 at time of writing.

This gloriously unconventional film gets its interest from politically incorrect black humour and extended sequences of subtle tension. It's a drama of consequences, occasionally contriving unlikely coincidences to make its point, but pulling it off with style in the end. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson excel as the protagonists at the core of the film. With an emphasis on characters and quirkiness instead of action, these hit men with hearts deliver a crackingly entertaining story.

Irish-English writer-director Martin McDonagh had previously made a short film called Six Shooter, which I watched immediately afterwards. The short had all the quirkiness and darkness of his feature-length effort, but without the satisfying neatness. He's a playwright by trade, which perhaps comes through in his writing, and it's fascinating to watch his development as a filmmaker. He must have been pleased as punch with a BAFTA, an Oscar nomination, opening Sundance, and a worldwide box office of $30million. The Bruges Tourist Board must've been dead pleased too. I wonder what he'll do next?

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