Thursday, July 10, 2008

In Bruges (Martin McDonagh, 2008) A-

With In Bruges, McDonagh takes a tricky, overused subgenre- the remorseful hitman looking for redemption- combines it with the equally difficult dark comedy subgenre, switches between them mercilessly and at the drop of a hat and still makes it work. And not only does he make it work, it's simply one of the most original and fascinating films I've seen in awhile. Colin Farrell has never been this good- even in his Tigerland breakthrough- or more likable. He was funny when he needed to be (and boy was he- during some of his line readings and facial expressions I haven't laughed that hard during any other movie this year) and frighteningly serious and remorseful at other points of the script. The only thing I didn't buy was the fact that he was supposed to have trouble getting women. Riiiiiiight. Women are blinding themselves willingly just so they won't have to look at him. In the context of everything though, that's only a minor quibble. Co-star Brendan Gleeson was also equally fantastic, but probably won't get the same critical praise because he's not as big of a star. And Ralph Fiennes is hilarious as the foul-mouthed boss trying to teach Farrell a lesson.

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