Archives for posts with tag: jon s. baird

Omar: 4.0 out or 5!

And we’re back! After an absence of a few too many days, I’m coming at you with another review. A few days ago my lovely James McAvoy-loving girlfriend insisted that I watch Jon S. Baird’s Filth (2013)What got my attention even more than her incessant requests that I watch it was that it took her multiple attempts to actually make it through the whole thing. She kept describing it as quite vulgar yet fascinating. After watching the movie I completely understand what she meant, this movie was homophobic, misogynistic, and straight up filthy (heh) but it was equal parts fascinating, surprising, and ultimately highly enjoyable.

The reason I decided to use the above image instead of any of the many other options is because of the words FROM THE CREATOR OF TRAINSPOTTING. Now if you haven’t watched Trainspotting (1996) pause right here, slap yourself for being so irresponsible, watch it, and then come back. Scottish author Irvine Welsh wrote both Trainspotting and Filth and it shows in the way both movies play out. Both films have a similar aura and while Filth doesn’t quite reach the level of Trainspotting, it’s still definitely worth the watch.

Trainspotting had us following the ridiculous exploits of drug-addicted criminals, Filth has us following the exploits of drug-addicted criminals who wear police badges. In other words, the protagonists are nearly identical morally except they’re on opposite sides of the law. This time James McAvoy is in the starring role as the borderline-sociopathic Detective Sergeant of Edinburgh, Bruce Robertson (quite the mouthful, isn’t it?). The plot follows Bruce as he attempts to win a promotion to Detective Inspector by investigating the murder of a Japanese student. I’m sure this sounds like a fairly straight-forward and standard storyline that has been made and remade countless times. Assuming this movie to be anything close to typical would be a big mistake as the mentally unstable Bruce is plagued by constant hallucinations, mental breakdowns, drug addiction, sex addiction, and much more that leads him to abuse his power and be an all-around terrible person, often times to a comedic degree.

Let me be more specific about the things I liked about this movie; the script, cinematography, plot, and ACTING were all top-notch. I don’t know if there is a name for movies like Trainspotting, Snatch, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels that offer lightning quick and clever dialogue along with excessive cursing and wild plots but I’d certainly add this movie to that list as well. While the dialogue was often reprehensible, it was clearly meant to be so and executed flawlessly. The cinematography was never stunning or anything like that but I liked the different angles used and I also enjoyed the blue color palette used. Along with that there were many cleverly framed shots and the I liked the surreal nature of the hallucination scenes. The plot was great for reasons that I cannot discuss. I’ll just say there is a very interesting twist that I never saw coming and I’ll leave it at that.

Now on to what was the strengths best strength, the acting! To go even further, it’s not even fair to say the acting in general because the rest of the cast was great but James McAvoy was in a class of his own. I’ll be honest, I was already a fan of his acting coming into the movie but this was some of the best acting I’ve seen him do. Sometimes certain people nail a role so well that you couldn’t picture anyone else in their shoes and this is one of those cases. Some of the things he does and says in this film are outrageous yet I’m entirely convinced because of the way he delivers it all.

As stated above, I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. My only complaint was the excessive crudeness of the movie and this might be a bit hypocritical because often times it was also one of my favorite parts of the movie but whatareyougonnado?

Keep an eye out for my next reviews, L.A. Confidential and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation!


Liz: 3.9 out of 5 stars

A lovely Christmas season family-friendly film. JUST KIDDING, IT’S NOT AT ALL. Goodness, Filth, directed by Jon S. Baird, and starring James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, and many others, is one of those movies that changed my mind completely by the end of it. I started watching and was pretty sure that I did not like it very much at all. However, it took a giant turn in an unexpected way and I loved it.


Quick summary: Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson (McAvoy) is a really awful person whose main goal, amongst other schemes and pranks, is to win the promotion to Detective Inspector in his precinct by heading the investigation of the murder of a Japanese boy.

filth_2690571kLet’s begin with why I did not like this film to begin with. The characters were just awful!!!!!! It’s not that they were poorly written or boring (quite the opposite actually); they were just really crude, terrible, cruel people (especially Robertson). The excessive misogyny, homophobia, etc that were displayed by Bruce was almost too much to bear for my perhaps too-sensitive personality. I understand that it was part of the character, but it was too much to handle. Bruce was exaggerated obviously, but it was crude and I guess I’m not used to so much of it at every single scene and I felt that it almost wasn’t tasteful at times. The title of the movie is quite accurate for all the stuff that Bruce does. After finally finishing the movie though, it seems like that wasn’t such a big deal.

James McAvoy’s acting was GREAT. I was very impressed with his performance of a clearly unstable (trying not to give too much away), corrupt, manipulative man. His character was detestable and I hated him but by the climax of the film, I saw that Bruce had way more layers to him than I previously thought. There’s a great scene between him and Imogen Poots when he becomes extremely vulnerable and open for the quickest of moments.  McAvoy portrayed despicable, manic, scary all at the same time and by the end of the movie, I surprisingly felt really bad for him. I knew I always loved McAvoy since the first time I saw him as Mr. Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 

Also shoutout to Jamie Bell. He wasn’t really that important in the movie, but I love him so there you go.

To go on, Filth seemed like a not-too-serious film when it started. I thought it was more of a comedy, as I didn’t know too much about it when I started it. However, I was impressed by the huge turn it took towards the end. There were flashes of something strange or secret about Bruce, but I didn’t know what. When I finally figured out what was going on, I really appreciated the story and what it was trying to accomplish/show.

Finally, I really enjoyed the super fast-paced style of the movie — the conversations, events, etc.– that reminded me a whole lot of Snatch. Also, there were really bizarre scenes, primarily with Jim Broadbent, that were kind of scary but I appreciated how it lent that uncomfortable/unstable feel of the film. Lastly, I just really like the music, particularly when Bruce and Clifford Blades (Eddie Marsan) are in Germany and 99 Red Balloons is playing. It was hilarious and I also very much enjoyed when Bruce drugged Blades (awful!) and he was dancing with the lights around his shoulders in the bar.

So, ultimately, I rate this movie higher than I thought I would have when I had only seen half of the film. The movie was clever, funny, crude, really inappropriate, and surprising. I originally didn’t plan on finishing the film, but I’m really glad that I gave it a chance in the end.