EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|RED RIDING: IN THE YEAR OF OUR LORD 1983 (director: Anand Tucker; screenwriters: Tony Grisoni/based on the novel by David Peace; cinematographer: David Higgs; editor: Trevor Waite; music: Barrington Pheloung; cast: David Morrisey (Maurice Jobson), Sean Harris (Bob Craven), Peter Mullan (Martin Laws), Tony Mooney (Tommy Douglas), Chris Walker (Jim Prentice), Lisa Howard (Judith Jobson), David Calder (Sir John Marsden), Robert Sheehan (BJ), Daniel Mays (Michael Myshkin), Sean Bean (John Dawson), Jim Carter (Harold Angus), Warren Clarke (Bill Molloy), Michelle Dockery (Kathryn Tyler), Mark Addy (John Piggott), Rebecca Hall (Paula Garland), Andrew Garfield (Eddie Dunford), Beatrice Kelley (Mrs. Myshkin), Gerard Kearns (Leonard Cole); Runtime: 102; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Andrew Eaton/Anita Overland/Wendy Brazington; IFC Films; 2009-UK)|
|"Raises the bar for crime drama on the boob
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
seen first in England on Channel 4 as a five-hour mini-series
(seen by me in the States on the Sundance Channel), and is divided into three parts named
after the years in which they take place—1974, 1980, and 1983. There are
three different directors—Julian Jarrold (1974), James
Marsh (1980) and Anand
Tucker (1983). This gives it
three distinctly different looks, but all three versions keep the
corrupt police motto: "This is
the North. We do what we like."
weighty and elegant screenplay is by Tony Grisoni, who
adapts it from the Yorkshire-born
writer David Peace's novel. Peace
lives in Tokyo. Tucker
previously directed "Shopgirl" and "Hilary and Jackie," and
is the equal to the previous two directors in keeping things gruesome,
grim and gripping.
The film's final leg of the vile and depressing trilogy of
serial killings and police corruption, has the teenage male hustler named B.J. (Robert
a slob, overweight, second-rate lawyer named John
Piggott (Mark Addy), whose mum just died, drawn back to Yorkshire to
face the music of their past.
When in 1983, in the town of Fitzwilliam, another little girl has
missing, this raises doubts whether the man arrested for the
abductions and killings in 1974 was the guilty party. Piggott is asked by Mrs. Myshkin (Beatrice Kelley), a friend of his mum's, to appeal her
son's conviction as the Yorkshire Ripper because cops beat him and made
her mentally challenged son confess. The ill-suited lawyer reluctantly
takes the case and intends to
appeal the conviction of the retarded boy, Michael Myshkin (Daniel Mays). This action threatens the power-structure of
corruption, who are on the verge of closing a big real-estate deal with
wealthy developer John Dawson (Sean
Bean) and want no distractions.
Things have returned to normal after the cops bungling of the Ripper
case through incompetency and whatnot, but they have now convinced the
public they got the right man and don't want that changed. While B.J.,
who was victimized as a child by a man of the cloth, Rev. Martin Laws
(Peter Mullan), confronts him with his weak voice of conscience, the troubled cop, Detective Inspector Maurice Jobson (David
Morrissey), who was in on the
fix from the beginning and is as guilty as hell over the cover-up,
finally shows pangs of a conscience and in a sad way becomes the film's
bad guy hero as he deals with the situation as if he were a gangland
hit man and takes out the target.
It paints an ugly picture of
Thatcher's post-industrial Yorkshire, in this intricately plotted film
contrived, too stylized, too difficult to follow because of the
flashbacks to the other films and the strange way of altering the time
sequences, and that it never gets to your heart as much as it gets to
your guts. But it's a good
watch, and raises the bar for crime drama on the boob tube.
In the real case, a Yorkshire constabulary accidently caught in 1981 the man who'd been brutally killing local prostitutes -- a truck driver named Peter Sutcliffe.
REVIEWED ON 3/10/2011 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ