Friday, February 28, 2014

Strictly Sinatra (2001)

Director: Peter Capaldi

Writer: Peter Capaldi

Composer: Stanislas Syrewicz

Starring: Ian Hart, Kelly Macdonald, Brian Cox, Alun Armstrong, Tommy Flanagan, Iain Cuthbertson, Una McLean, Jimmy Chisholm, Jimmy Yuill

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Toni wanted a crowd... he got the mob

Plot: A small-time crooner find himself on the receiving end of the threatening attentions of a gangster, whose wife has fallen for the singer's Sinatra-like aura.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? No.

Crooners, British gangsters, Brian Cox...I'm in.  This is an unusual British crime film in that the lead is a 28 year old low rent lounge singer that only performs Frank Sinatra tunes until a local, elderly gangster kingpin and his wife take an interest in his music.  As Toni (Hart) as been struggling with his craft he's sucked into their world by Chisolm (Cox) who tells him stories of the times he met Sinatra in Vegas and promises to help his career.  The picture moves along like you'd expect it to, with a young whipper snapper being sucked into the criminal world.  Along the way he meets and falls in love with Irene (Macdonald) (you'll know her as Margaret from BOARDWALK EMPIRE (2010)) and you know that their relationship is going to be strained by his involvement with the gangsters and that he's going to get in too deep and not be able to break away from them but you know further that he will find a way and that he and Irene will start a new life together.  Yeah, it pretty much writes itself but it's not an uninteresting picture.  I might be more inclined to like this because I'm also a crooner with a band that does Sinatra tunes.  I wasn't all that thrilled with the ending as it seemed like there could have been a better way of getting Toni & Irene to their destination but it's still a worthwhile effort.  If you need another excuse to check it out, it's fun seeing a MUCH thinner Brian Cox.

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