Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Overlooked: Sexy Beast

More from the ex-British gangster set, it's Sexy Beast:

(Photo from allmoviephoto.com)

The plot's pretty simple here: Gal (a strong Ray Winstone) is a retired hood living it up in Spain with his wife and their two friends. Don Logan (Ben Kingsley; words cannot describe how good he is) is still active, and wants Gal for one more London job.

Gal wants nothing of it. So it's easy -- Gal just says no, right? Except ... not with Don Logan, who is scarier than about 90 percent of all movie characters, and that includes slashers and monsters and zombies. Here, the two go back and forth for a while, and ... well, then the rest of it happens.

The film got some notice back in 2001 for Kingsley's performance, which earned him an Oscar nod (he was beaten by a fave of The Film Official's, Jim Broadbent, for Iris). But it's more than just a showcase for Kingsley's considerable talents. It's slick in the hands of director Jonathan Glazer, who creates some pretty memorable images and handles the script deftly. It clocks in at an extremely manageable 89 minutes, so it's never excessive -- but it doesn't feel slight, either.

Really, if you want a crime film that's a little out of the ordinary, you can't do much better than Sexy Beast ... and wouldn't you know it -- Fancast.com is showing the whole movie for free!

*Word(s) of warning: The dialogue is, well, it's rough. As in it's tough to understand. I needed subtitles the first time I watched it, and I'm not even kidding. But once you develop an ear for it, it's fine -- and all the better and more authentic for it.

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