Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine, 2011)

What's it about? Joseph (Peter Mullan) is an unemployed, rage-filled alcoholic, prone to vicious outbursts of violence. One day, he meets Christian charity shop worker Hannah (Olivia Colman) and finds himself drawn towards her, although he naturally can't help insulting her beliefs and middle-class background. However, it transpires that Hannah has problems of her own and Joseph is compelled to help her, despite himself.


Is it any good? So, what have we got here, then? Loneliness, rage, violence, domestic abuse, alcohol abuse, rape, animal cruelty. Jurassic Park it ain't. Instead, it's one of those harrowing, grim, British kitchen-sink dramas that will leave you thoroughly down in the dumps. Why would you want to watch that, then? Well, it does feature two absolutely superb performances from Mullan and Colman, both of whom have scenes where they act a thousand emotions without speaking a word. For them alone, it deserves to be seen. But make no mistake, despite some elements of hope and a funny line about a zoo, this is tough, unremitting viewing. If you're in a happy mood, avoid it. If you're depressed anyway, give it a go, it might even cheer you up. Ultimately, there may be no actual dinosaurs here, but there are plenty of demons and monsters.

I don't trust you. What do others think? First time director Paddy Considine (better known for his acting in the likes of Dead Man Shoes, Submarine and Hot Fuzz) has received a lot of praise for Tyrannosaur, including Best Director at the Sundance Film Festival and a BAFTA for Outstanding British Debut. However, although the film has been generally well-reviewed, it has also been accused of being blatant 'poverty porn', allowing middle-class audiences to take a misery tour of working-class life at a safe distance. There's a debate for and against this viewpoint here, if (like me) you can't be arsed thinking up your own opinion. And in other funnier news, various internet forums have been set alight by irate punters complaining that the title was misleading (it's actually explained fully and is very apt) and that they walked out of the film because it had no dinosaurs in it. Sample post: "SERIOUSLY I GET THAT IT'S ALL ARTSY AND POIGNANT AND PRETENTIOUS AND SH!T BUT YOU DO NOT NAME A MOVIE TYRANNOSAUR AND HAVE NO DINOSUARS!!" Now, that has cheered me up immensely.

What does the Fonz think? Very good. I never want to see it again.





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