Sunday, November 06, 2005

Layer Cake

J J Connolly's novel Layer Cake is a complex thriller based in London UK and focusing on the intricacies of the illegal drug business.

The film of this book, directed by Matthew Vaughn (actor and producer in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells), is an outstanding movie. Solid acting from Daneil Craig (the new James Bond), Kenneth Cranham, Sir Michael Gambon, George Harris and others make this a realistic but intelligent gangster movie. There are twists and turns in the plot, many of them unexpected and a brilliant surprise end.

There are also smart uses of the media - split screens, actor to camera, a new kind of flashback which seems much more integrated with the story line and doesn't "jar" - which suggests that the director here has significant talent and should do well. So who is he ? Apart from being best man at Guy Ritchie's wedding to Madonna, his partner is Claudia Schiffer. He has been around the movie business for many years and was due to direct X-Men 3 but dropped out due to family conflicts. Brett Ratner replaced him.

Watch Layer Cake and enjoy and keep an eye out for the work of this young, but talented director.

Another great film, also watched this week-end, is Good Bye Lenin (2003) directed by Wolfgang Becker - in german. The basic premise is that the young man's mother is in a coma over the months when the Berlin Wall is coming down. She wakes up (oblivious) in united Germany, but as she is so fragile she cannot be allowed to know that everything she held dear has collapsed. What ensues is a comic and moving scenario - her son does his best to pretend that nothing has changed. Painfully executed, with a wry and dry sense of humour, the acting is convincing and the comedy underplayed but effective. A film well worth watching. It won several awards - Berlin Film Festival, a Bambi, a Cesar and many others - and for good reason. Watch it and see.

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