Tyrannosaur: "Will You Hold Me? Will You Hold Me, Please"

Director: Paddy Considine
Writer:    Paddy Considine
Starring: Peter Mullan
               Olivia Colman
               Eddie Marsan
               Paul Popplewell
               Samuel Bottomley
               Sally Carman
Rating:    *****

Home Release: 06/02/12

A film (that somehow managed to slip under my radar) that is quite possibly one of the most moving and terrific pieces of cinema made all year.

Joseph (Mullan), an unemployed widower with a severe drinking problem, tormented by violence and a rage that is driving him to self-destruction, is forced into a life change after he kills his dog in a fit of rage. He realises he has to change for the better and get out of his sad and lonely past and surroundings. Luckily round the corner is the chance of redemption. when he, by chance, becomes close to local charity shop worker Hannah (Colman). She is a respectable, wholesome and gentle Christian woman who pities him, and they soon become close friends. However Hannah's life isn't as easy as Joseph first presumes, because behind the facade of her kind nature and big house is a life of abuse, hatred and neglect. James (Marsan), Hannah's husband, is an abusive man who beats, insults and rapes her regularly, even using glass and other weapons to inflict the scars. She eventually breaks free of him, and finds shelter with Joseph, but little does he know, she has a very dark secret that may return him to his dark path.

Now the supporting cast in this film are absolutely terrific, with Popplewell winning awards for his role as the abusive neighbour, but for this film the two leads are what makes it so beautifully haunting. Mullan is dazzling in the role of dark, damaged Joseph, bringing a raw and harsh edge to the character. Even though he should be a fairly hateful character in any other film, his performance makes you empathise with him, and he really does become a genuinely likable man by the end of the film. However, the standout performance from the whole film has to go to Olivia Colman, who gives a beautifully poignant and moving performance throughout. I have always loved Colman, but mainly for her comedic roles (Rev, Peep Show, Green Wing), but for the first time I have seen her really act, and I have to say she is absolutely fantastic. That isn't to say that comedy isn't acting, but this is the first time I've seen her get gritty and emotional and it is truly magical. Her performance made me cry a fair amount, and that is normally how I judge the success of the performance.

For Considine's directorial debut this is outstanding, it is is dark, and moody and extremely gritty, and every scene has been well thought out and planned, but feels natural and organic. His decision to not really show the violence (apart from one scene) is extremely clever, because your mind tells you what is happening and what you're seeing, and it makes it even more disturbing and emotional when it happens. He manages to capture all of the chemistry and passion in the actor performances and really makes it shine on camera, and his writing is what really pulls it together and makes the film a work of art. The film is out on home release February next year, and if you haven't seen it, you need to buy it and watch it, over and over again.

Tyrannosaur - Trailer