Lawless Heart

Lawless Heart


Reviewed by: Trinity

Lawless Heart starts, and ends, with Stuart. His funeral brings together three men: Dan (Bill Nighy), his brother-in-law; Nick (Tom Hollander), his boyfriend; Tim (Douglas Henshall), his best friend. Stuart's death makes each re-evaluate their lives in different ways, yet all question current relationships.

Dan, a faithful husband and father, questions his stable life when he meets Corinne and becomes entranced by her honesty and frank enthusiasm. Nick is befriended by Charliewho breaks through his depression with her eternally cheerful outlook on life. And Tim, back after eight years of carefree travelling, realises that Leah, is the elusive "someone" he had been searching for, might have been at home all the time. In the end, each one's life is changed, and, indirectly, it all comes back to Stuart.

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Writer-directors Neil Hunter and Tom Hunsinger, in their second feature, have made a film which successfully manages to dramatise the subtleties of modern relationships. Their script moves backwards and forwards to let us follow each character as their lives intersect in oblique ways. This not only allows us to fully appreciate each man's personality, but also re-evaluates the actions of all the people in the film, providing a depth of story and character, unseen in your typical romantic comedy drama.

Each of the cast brings their own unique acting talents to the film, with Nighy a stand-out, his twitchy mannerisms betraying a guilty conscience. As the lightest and funniest of the three strands, his character gives balance to the emotionally naked, yet straight laced Nick and painfully awkward Tim. A lot of the dialogue and scenarios were developed through improvisation, with the result that the script has a natural feel to it. Add to this the impressive performances of the women - Corinne (Clementine Celarie), Charlie (Sukie Smith), Judy (Ellie Haddington), Leah (Josephine Butler) - and you have a trio of believable relationships.

The heart is a lonely hunter and love abides no laws.

Reviewed on: 27 Jun 2002
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Relationship ensemble drama, as lives intersect following a death.
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Angus Wolfe Murray ***

Director: Neil Hunter, Tom Hunsinger

Writer: Neil Hunter, Tom Hunsinger

Starring: Douglas Henshall, Tom Hollander, Bill Nighy, Clementine Celarie, Josephine Butler, Ellie Haddington, Stuart Laing, Sukie Smith

Year: 2002

Runtime: 100 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


EIFF 2001

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