"The direction, dialogue, performances and story are fierce."
Y'know how you felt all dirty walking out of Schlindler's List? How it was a great movie, but it didn't make you feel good at all?
Hi, let me introduce you to Nil By Mouth.This is hardcore. Gary Oldman's screenwriting/directing debut about a working class family in modern day Britain pulls no punches, literally.
It is not a feel-good movie. It's anything but.
The performances are fantastic, though the notoriously incapable-of-understanding-accents American audience may have trouble keeping up with the play early on.
The direction, dialogue, performances and story are fierce.
Oldman did the right thing in keeping his own face out of this tale and using actors that are largely unknown outside their home country, which allows us to get fully sunk into the documentary style of this film.
The characters come across as real people, not Hollywood cardboard cutouts, and their problems (drugs, drink, violence, crime, unemployment and family) are closer to reality than you want your family to be.
Ultimately, it's a violent film, though hardly any of the violence is actually brought to the sceen. You know it's there, but it's not shoved down your throat. This helps the film shock, but doesn't make it cross the line into gratuity.
Like Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan (though on a less historically important scale), Nil By Mouth is a movie you have to see, not to take anything home from it, but to show you just how good your home is.If this is Oldman's opening salvo in the writing/directing gig, look out for his next effort. It could well be historic.