(director: Rufus Norris; screenwriter: Alecky Blythe; cinematographer: Danny Cohen; editor: John Wilson; music: Adam Cork; cast: Tom Hardy (Mark), Olivia Colman (Julie), Paul Thornley (Dodge), Nick Holder (Ron), Anita Dobson (June), Linzi Hateley (Helen), Nicola Sloane (Rosemary), Duncan Wisbey (Gordon), Kate Fleetwood (Vicky), Clare Burt(Sue); Runtime: 92; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Dixie Linder; BBC Worldwide; 2015-UK)
“A moving tribute to a community rallying together to overcome tragedy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A satisfying docudrama directed in a stylized manner by Rufus Norris (“Broken”), that’s based on the offbeat London stage musical about a real-life series of murders in a small English town. Alecky Blythe wrote the screenplay entirely from interviews with Ipswich residents, police, media and sex counselors.
The groundbreaking play, performed at the renowned London’s National Theatre in 2011, reunites the award winning cast and creative team. In 2006, from October to December, there were five murders of prostitutes on London Road in Ipswich in Suffolk England. The film documents how the working-class community was shattered and came together to overcome their fears. The police arrest for the murders the local resident Steven Wright, a forklift operator. The killer is given no screen time. The trial ends in 2008 with a life term conviction.
What the film does that’s unique is use the actual words of the community residents and sets it to a creative musical score. It’s a moving tribute to a community rallying together to overcome tragedy. Tom Hardy is in a memorable cameo as a cab driver who has been studying serial killers since he was a teenager. The film stars Olivia Colman, who plays the busybody Julie. Though a good person, she praises the serial killer for getting a few of the prostitutes off their once-respectable street. On the other hand, she organizes the street project that brings harmony and good feelings back to the community.
REVIEWED ON 9/6/2016 GRADE: B