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ND/NF 2010: "Down Terrace"

The Auteurs Daily

Down Terrace

"Ben Wheatley's Down Terrace follows up a strong first half with a rather less productive second act," writes Andrew Schenker in Slant. "Charting two weeks in the lives of a father-and-son gangster team who have just returned from a prison bid, the film unfolds as a series of deadpan exchanges between the two, their wife/mother, and various associates who pop in, the action confined almost entirely to the expansive family home.... More the stuff of half-hour sitcoms than feature-length films, Down Terrace begins to lose momentum around the start of the second week, which is when Wheatley shifts gears, introducing a darker tone amid the comedy, interjecting more in the way of plot and sprinkling the proceedings with sudden bursts of brutal, if vaguely comic, violence."

Blogging for the New York Press, Simon Abrams finds it to be "a pretty engaging pseudo-Greek tragedy disguised as a comedy." In the Voice, Melissa Anderson focuses on co-writer Robin Hill's "autobiographical touches." For Megan Ratner in Bright Lights After Dark, a "nearly total lack of exposition can feel like you're coming in at the end of a joke, but more often makes a dark mockery of crime-story conventions."

"Mike Leigh meets The Sopranos," suggests indieWIRE, introducing its interview with Wheatley. Screens tomorrow and Tuesday.

Update, 3/30: Steve Dollar talks with Robin Hill for Paste.

Update, 4/1: Viewing. Mekado Murphy talks with Wheatley for the New York Times.


It’s terrific. 5 stars! My brief chat with Robin Hill is up at tomorrow ….

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