Friday, November 12, 2010

The Long Good Friday (1980)

Director: John Mackenzie

Starring: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Paul Freeman, Pierce Brosnan

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Who lit the fuse that tore Harold's world apart?

Plot: Harold, a prosperous English gangster, is about to close a lucrative new deal when bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places. A mysterious syndicate is trying to muscle in on his action, and Harold wants to know who they are. He finds out soon enough, and bloody mayhem ensues.

My rating: 8.5/10

As a HUGE fan of British gangster pictures, especially of the 70s, it's no surprise that I instantly fell in love with this one. It's a knockout, career-making performance for Bob Hoskins. He nails perfectly a man of his stature and background finding himself in a world he only thought he knew. For the first time he's not able to control or fix the situation and it's interesting as hell how he handles it. The final moments of the film focus only on his face with no dialogue but through his subtle facial movements, and they are very subtle, you can see his transformation and it's a brilliant slice of acting.

I think I first caught this in the late 80s and it blew me away. It was the beginning of my love affair with British crime films that hasn't slowed down one bit. If you're looking for action and revenge, the typical stuff, you won't find it with TLGF. What you will find is an excellent character study of the London underworld with a tense story and top notch performances all around.

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