Friday, April 09, 2010


Dave here, trying to resist whinging and moaning about the fact no one wanted to see this but me. (Idiots.)

Directed by: Rowan Joffe (yes, son of him who directed The Killing Fields)
Starring: Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough, Helen Mirren, John Hurt

Sam Riley on the set of Brighton Rock

The second film adaptation of Graham Greene's Brighton Rock, where a violent youth named Pinkie murders a man and marries a naive waitress who could destroy his alibi, pursued by a suspicious older woman who both wants to bring him to justice and protect the innocent girl.
Brought to you by: BBC Films and Optimum Releasing (one of the best distributors in the UK)
Expected release date: No word; could even be next year... I do back the wrong horses, don't I?

I didn't really mean for my first appearance in this countdown project to be so... British, but I suppose it was foolish of me to expect much excitement elsewhere when my main reason for looking forward to this is so personal; I practically dissected Graham Greene's novel in high school, and anything that can survive that amount of scrutinization with love intact is something special indeed. The first adaptation back in 1947 is mostly famous for being Richard Attenborough's breakthrough role, and it's surprising the amount of things they got away with back then. But surely this will be a fuller, more visceral adaptation, merely because it can be. Although the central appeal of film noir is its darkly suggestive nature; let's hope they resist spelling everything out for us modern day folk.

the 1938 "entertainment" by Graham Green| the 1947 film version

Of course, films of books you love are always risky propositions (there's another one later on in the countdown), but the cast tips this my scales in favour of excitement; the ever-reliable John Hurt, the "better in supporting roles, AMPAS" Helen Mirren and two rising stars in Sam Riley, who impressed as Ian Curtis in Control, and Andrea Riseborough, who's been making marks in TV work, most notably as a young Margaret Thatcher. We just have to hope Joffe the Younger - who also wrote the screenplay, pulling the story forward slightly from the 1930s to the 1960s - has a knack for transferring the novel's compulsive moral intricacies on-screen and lives up to Greene's lean, highly cinematic style.

So what do you think, readers? Are you looking forward to chewing on some Brighton rock? Or do you think this new batch should've been left behind the counter?

"We Can't Wait: Summer and Beyond"
The "orphan" picks Nathaniel (Burlesque), JA (Love and Other Drugs), Jose (You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger), Craig (What's Wrong With Virginia?), Robert (True Grit) and Dave (Brighton Rock); Team Film Experience Countdown #12 It's Kind of a Funny Story, #11 Sex & the City 2, #10 Scott Pilgrim vs the World, #9 Somewhere, #8 The Kids Are All Right, #7 The Illusionist, #6 Toy Story 3, #5 Inception, #4 Rabbit Hole, #3 Never Let Me Go, #2 Black Swan and #1 The Tree of Life.


Dominik said...

I consider it a very far shot, but I considered it:

Sam Riley is my no. 31 out of 35best actor Oscar nominees, and no. 8 out of 12 best actor in comedy/musical Globe nominees

John Hurt is my no. 23 out of 28 best supporting actor Oscar nominees

Helen Mirren is my no. 13 out of 33 best supporting actress Oscar nominees

The film itself is my no. 34 out of 40 best picture Oscar nominees, and no. 6 out of 12 best picture comedy/musical Globe nominees

Christine said...

Sam Riley is the most perfect person to play Pinkie ever. I didn't even know this movie existed before, but now I am excited.


Riley was pretty fantastic in CONTROL so here's hoping. Of course I was more excited about it when it was a Carey Mulligan picture. But this is only because I don't know who Andrea Riseborough is just yet.

I think the plot sounds intriguing so i do want to read the book. And Greene's books do make good cinema.

downbythewater said...

wow. one of my favorite novels. this makes me real happy.

Carl said...

Interesting that all of the orphans seem to have some buzz for Best Actress candidates (three on Nathaniel's "Actress Psychic" list and Mirren in "Brighton Rock" on various other sites). Is it just because it is so early and ANY film that has an actress with lines is a contender at this point?


Carl, i'm not familiar with the novel so maybe i shouldn't have been so certain that Helen Mirren wasn't a lead here. But i was fairly certain it was a supporting character. Maybe I should read the book.

IslandLiberal said...

Helen Mirren is a bit older than I pictured Ida being, but whatever; her breasts are certainly big enough, given how many times Greene talks about them.

On the lead/supporting issue, Ida is probably the female lead of the book.

Chris Na Taraja said...

I thought Richard Attenbourough was the Narrator of PLANET EARTH, but that's his little brother David!

Dimitra said...

Thanks so much for mentioning this, it's one of the films I anticipate the most this year. Sam Riley was awesome in Control, so I'm pretty confident he's going to give a great performance. I haven't seen the old version, but I'm pretty sure that they left some key themes concerning Pinkie's personality outside the film, due to the time it was made.

Joe Reid said...

Andrea Riseborough was brilliant and Winslet-esque in the off-Broadway play The Pride. She actually made me rave about something other than Ben Whishaw and Hugh Dancey playing gay lovers. She's in a few movies this year (this and Never Let Me Go, most prominently), and I can't wait to see her.

adri said...

I want to see this one, too. I find it so amazing that Graham Greene's work stays so fresh. He was a foreign correspondent who travelled the world, a film critic and a screenwriter, if I remember rightly. What a combination - it seems like his filmic view on never-ending political/personal struggles stays so real. And yes, the cast looks great.

Seeing_I said...

I really like the original "Brighton Rock," so I hope this adaptation turns out well.

I only watched it in the first place because William Hartnell, the original "Doctor Who," plays one of Pinkie's henchmen - the only one afflicted with some semblance of a conscience.

It's a great movie!

Anonymous said...

heard release date will be feb 2011