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DOM HEMINGWAY (director/writer: Richard Shepard; cinematographer: Giles Nuttgens; editor: Dana Congdon; music: Rolfe Kent; cast: Demian Bichir (Ivan Fontaine), Richard E. Grant (Dickie), Jude Law (Dom Hemingway), Emilia Clarke (Evelyn), Kerry Condon (Melody), Jumayn Hunter (Lestor), Madalina Ghenea (Paolina), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Hugh); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Jeremy Thomas; Fox Searchlight Pictures; 2013-UK)
“Always feels fake.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Derivative Brit crime film, which always feels fake and all talk. It makes you think of a lesser Sexy Beast. Here gangsters meet in the French countryside in this strained, loud and pretentious crime comedy unappealingly written and directed by Richard Shepard (“The Hunting Party”/”Oxygen”/”The Matador”).

The title character Jude Law opens the pic with a long monologue about the prowess of his cock. Dom is the obnoxious, macho and violent safe-cracker just released after getting a blow job in prison and after being mum while serving 12 years in prison. When released he goes with his one-handed London enabler loyal pal Dickie (Richard E. Grant) to the high-end French countryside villa of his elegant gangster boss Ivan Fontaine (Demian Bichir) to collect for taking the rap for a major job.

While Dom crudely goes into annoying drunken rants, drools openly over his host’s lady friend Paolina (Madalina Ghenea, Romanian model), his kingpin host remains quiet. He then gives Dom his payoff of three quarters of a million pounds, after the safe-cracker apologizes. In a drunken stupor, the stupid Dom arranges for an accident that backfires, as Paolina flees with his reward money.

Back in his London haunts, the absentee dad Dom tries to reconnect with his embittered daughter, Evelyn (Emilia Clarke), a struggling singer with a mute young son. The resentful Evelyn wants nothing to do with him. In further efforts to seek redemption, Dom goes to his cancer vic wife’s grave.

The pic has run out of purpose long ago and the messy story just goes nowhere. This one is all about Jude playing it over-the-top as a brash bad ass. If his excessive performance somehow moves you, you might be entertained by this misfire.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”