More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look50%
Average: 11.11%
Pretty Bad: 33.33%
Total Crap: 5.56%

2 reviews, 6 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Executioner's Song, The by Jack Sommersby

Come Play by Peter Sobczynski

Blind Fury by Jack Sommersby

Craft, The: Legacy by Peter Sobczynski

Forbidden World by Jack Sommersby

Joysticks by Jack Sommersby

Exterminator/Exterminator 2, The by Jack Sommersby

Doorman, The (2020) by Jay Seaver

Postmortem by Jack Sommersby

Warrior and the Sorceress, The by Jack Sommersby

subscribe to this feed

No Such Thing
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Thom

"Being a monster can excuse a lot of anti-social behaviour"
4 stars

Hal Hartley takes his prediliction for the microscopic examination of the vaguries of humanity into the arena of the fable in an introspective and philosophical Beauty and the Beast tale. Beast is a foul mouthed drunk monster who has been terrorizing a small village in the hinterlands of iceland out of sheer boredom. Beauty is the young journalist on her first assignment: to investigate the murder of a film crew sent by the ratings hungry network headed by a demanding, hardened yet soft centered news exec played by Helen Mirren.

Two women in their late seventies at the screening chatted amongst themselves about how Mirren was in the film and “she must be a big star now or something”. Which was a classic example of the old Hollywood elite examining their asshole and failing to see that there is a world of culture outside of their market analyses. She’s also been nominated for an Academy Award … twice. But you know, she’s British, and unless you are cute and kitchy, you aren’t getting the usually steadfastly patriotic vote because the acceptance speech of an accomplished, talented, hard working actress who can think rings around the people who get you up on that podium isn’t going to be good for a few condescending head pats and belly chuckles for the wine soused audience waiting to leave for the real party.

Viva La Revolucion!

These are the kind of women you know at one time worshipped Joan Crawford. Yeah. Studio System Chicks. Bless Their Hearts.

Hartley likes to draw complex characters that splinter around ideological dichotomies and the emotional geography of paradox and contradiction. And even as he is telling you one thing, he weaves in strands of other stories to add texture to the main plot. A Hartley film is like an echo in the Alps. From one primary sound returns a response from several locations so that you are suddently surrounded by a conversation.

Hartley’s portrayal of the news media is critical and as usual, on the individual human level, sympathetic. We are feeling creatures trapped in larger unsympathetic systems. Information sells, and the kind of news that captures attention is the stuff that good theatre is made of. Drama, intensity, incredulity. While thousands of other stories that demand attention, may take longer to tell in forms that aren’t readily grasped, fall by the wayside for the select few who value other paradigm expanding modes of telling story.

No Such Thing, like all Hartley’s films, are easy mental exercise as you ride the crests of all the themes until the denoument, which is usually the tragic, shocking, bleak and hopeless final solution, Yet because there is even a solution at all, there is an ironic optimism implied.

If suicide is the only way out, well, at least there’s a way “out” of the ideological prisons of planet Earth.

The Monster is a literal monster and it takes some time to get used to seeing what should be a character from a magical fantasy film (no, I don’t mean Xanadu, more like Krull) set against the otherwise mundane, modern world.

The Monster is looking for his own salvation which may come in the form of a Mad Scientist who has invented a machine based on his theories of matter that are more metaphysical than physical. His radical cosmology ends him up in the employ of what else, US Weapons manufacture. Because any potentially liberating and life ameloriating technology should of course be used as a weapon of politics. Something that powerful should absolutely be studied for its destructive capabilities.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/02/02 10:08:53
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

5/16/07 Jabbapop the monster would have done better in a sitcom. 3 stars
4/05/03 tom except for a tedious middle 20 minutes, Hartley is evolving into something incredible!! 4 stars
4/01/03 Jack Sommersby Semi-charming little oddity. Not great, but praiseworthy. 4 stars
4/01/03 Bluto McBlurt Even genius takes a day off now and then. 3 stars
9/13/02 emadnil funny, touching, &, ultimately, haunting 4 stars
4/03/02 Todd Only a fucking idiot would like this movie 1 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  29-Mar-2002 (R)



Directed by
  Hal Hartley

Written by
  Hal Hartley

  Sarah Polley
  Robert John Burke
  Julie Christie
  Helen Mirren

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast