Friday, 12 November 2010

Down Terrace


Dir: Ben Wheatley - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Robin Hill, Robert Hill, Julia Deakin, David Schaal, Michael Smiley, Gareth Tunley, Tony Way, Kerry Peacock
UK, 2010

Reason to see: The trailer grabbed me in seconds.

Down Terrace brings us a new and brilliant take on the crime film genre that is a welcome addition to an already stacked list of fantastic films of 2010. We follow the dramas of a crime family of father Bill (Robert Hill) & son Karl (Robin Hill), and mom Maggie too (Julia Deakin). But they aren't your typical crime film family in that you'd not look away when they walk past but rather would be more than happy to help them with their groceries if asked. Being unassuming and under the wire is the families, and the film itself, strength.

What's brilliant about Down Terrace is not only in what it chooses to tell us, but what it leaves out. It's not hung up on the details of day to day crime life, but rather day to day life itself be it the trying dynamics of family relationships or getting to the bottom of why the biz isn't running as smoothly as it should. It seamlessly blends the two worlds with equal representation and importance giving it a whip wallop of not only an emotional punch of the family but also their enterprise. It's a refreshing take on the crime film genre, and it successfully brings the audience close to the hearts and spirits of the family making us feel near and dear to them and really care about what happens. That's a feat.

It's also a fantastic on a dark comedic level, where you really don't want to laugh but you find yourself doing just that. Multiple times. It's brilliant film making with a great script and stellar performances. Huge kudos to for the writing and acting here, it truly is perfect. I also enjoyed the editing style which had an almost casual feel to it as we smoothly saunter from day to day in the lives of this almost-normal family.

In a year where we've been treated to a quality selection of drama based crime films, I for one can't help but create connections between the films which lead me to ponder who would win in a matriarch face off between Down Terrace's Maggie (Julia Deakin) and Animal Kingdom's Smurf (Jacki Weaver). That would be a beautiful versus between two enigmatic and powerful women.

Down Terrace opens in Toronto on November 12, 2010 and the Carlton Theatre and in Vancouver on November 13, 2010 at the Vancity Theatre. I highly recommend you check it out.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again
I highly recommend it to fans of dark comedies

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010




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