Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Shot on location in East London, with colour so dark it's almost monochrome, Face has a powerful presence.

Antonia Bird is a director who prefers reality to pretty lies. You expect to be winded.

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It doesn't happen, because Ronan Bennett's script runs out of juice.

Ray (Robert Carlyle), the leader of the gang, used to be a protest marcher in the days when he could afford principles. His girlfriend (Lena Headey) still can, although doesn't make a fuss about his choice of profession.

This is the story of a heist, which leads to double-cross, murder and disloyal acts. It is in this area that Bennett takes liberties, especially in the police station, when one of the gang goes mental.

The acting is strong, especialy Ray Winstone, Phil Davis and Steven Waddington. For once, Carlyle appears miscast. Ray has to have a conscience about his girl and what he is doing with his life, as well as be the hard man. Carlyle is too sensitive an actor for that. He looks as if he's going to burst into tears at any moment.

Reviewed on: 29 Jun 2002
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South London heist goes wrong when gang members turn on each other
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Director: Antonia Bird

Writer: Ronan Bennett

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone, Steven Waddington, Philip Davis, Damon Albarn, Lena Headey, Peter Vaughan

Year: 1997

Runtime: 103 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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