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Rififi am Karfreitag
John Mackenzie Großbritannien, 1980
Watching Harold intimidate, crack wise (this movie is very, very mordantly funny), break down with Victoria (Mirren is more than just a moll here – she’s intelligent, strong and vulnerable too) while this gripping and prescient story unfolds is an enthralling joy, indebted to the brilliance of Hoskins and the excellent, at times, poetic script by Barrie Keeffe.
June 23, 2017
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The director, John Mackenzie, uses an elegant stylistic effect to make his point, so that we get it subliminally before we are anywhere near working out its contours. The camera keeps arriving at a scene – a country cottage seen from a small distance, the interior of the same cottage glimpsed through its windows, a swimming pool, the pub that is about to be blown up – when nothing has yet happened there. The technique makes the very idea of seeing ominous.
June 29, 2015
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Great actors are often able to display great range. But the real trick is projecting both ends of the emotional spectrum within a single moment. Maybe that’s what critical parlance has characterised as “inner conflict”, and there’s a great example to be found of this in John Mackenzie’s 1980 Brit gangster saga, The Long Good Friday, especially in the form of the late, very great character actor, Bob Hoskins.
June 19, 2015
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Besides Hoskins’s and Mirren’s standout performances, John Mackenzie’s high-octane direction and Francis Monkman’s motoric, mockingly jaunty synth score, the film creates a grittily evocative portrait of London teetering on the brink of change, deftly sideswiping all the cockney-criminal clichés as the borderline between legit business and the underworld is eroded.
June 05, 2015
The movie is viciously funny and exciting, but the filmmakers never let us exult in Shand’s (or the IRA’s) bloodletting. There’s a shocking, blasphemous edge to the imagery, even when it doesn’t involve a car being blown up in a church courtyard or a security guard’s hands being nailed to the floor.
November 23, 1998
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Bob Hoskins gives a growly, charismatic performance as the kingpin brought low by phantom forces over the course of an Easter weekend, and there’s a political theme that asserts itself with nicely rising force.
January 01, 1980
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