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Sunday, 13 April 2014 23:25

'Dom Hemingway' amazes with unfettered, fierce energy + Video

'Dom Hemingway' amazes with unfettered, fierce energy
Written by Diane Carson
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Jude Law plays Dom Hemingway, the central character in the film of that title. And Jude Law is THE central reason to see writer/director Richard Shepard's wildly energetic, unpredictable comedy. With his tour-de-force performance, Law offers a master class in acting, ably supported by Richard E. Grant as his sidekick Dickie and Demian Bichir as mob boss Ivan Fontaine.

The hurricane force at the center of his own self-generated storm of uncontrollable anger and nonstop drinking, master safecracker Dom has spent 12 years in British prison, keeping his mouth shut to protect Fontaine. Just released, Dom wants his money plus, as he puts it, a little reward. After a stop in East End London to pummel one foe to a bloody pulp, accompanied by Dickie (the perfect straight man), Dom heads to France to rendezvous with Ivan. In Ivan's gorgeous villa, close-ups of monkey faces on the walls comment metaphorically and amusingly on Dom's behavior.

Giles Nuttgens' cinematography and Laurence Dorman's production design boldly reflect Dom's feral energy. Garish reds, saturated aquamarine, daring lime greens, deep yellows--all mirror Dom's fury. Steadicam shots translate Dom's aggressive force into motion--the camera at times following and rushing to keep up with Dom and alternately retreating from him. Shot on location in England and France, the external shots--an olive grove, Brompton Cemetery, a train trip--add contrasting ambiance and needed pauses in the explosive conflict that soon involves former enemies, a wild nightclub, and, integrating a racial component, his alienated adult daughter.

Beyond the obligatory hookers, his daughter, and Ivan's beautiful girlfriend, there's little space for women in this combat, not that many would want to join this testosterone-fueled mêlée. In this taut, charged world, the rapid-fire dialogue comes peppered with very crude curses, as expected.

Audaciously unfettered, "Dom Hemingway" still takes the time to pause to watch a range of emotions play across Jude Law's face. Comic, self-defeating Dom wants to make up for lost time, and I had a great time going along for the ride. At a Landmark Theatre.

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