Thoughts on I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Friday, September 24, 2010 8:48 PM By Simon

-After his little brother Davey (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) kills himself, former London crime boss Will Graham (Clive Owen) returns from his self-imposed exile to find out why.

-See, Simon Fisher-Turner's score, as lovely as it is, implies a neo-noir film, yet it never feels like one. We already know what happened and why, and there's hardly any detective work in between all the angst.

-Now, either the characters were meant to be drawn as by the actors, you have to read their expressions and body languages to really get them, these ambiguously moral guys. Or they were just really poorly characterized.

-Clive Owen has crazy eyes. Jamie Foreman's Mickster is bug eyed. Charlotte Rampling's Helen has sad eyes. These are not generalisations. In this movie, they appear to be permanent.

The entire damn movie.

-Okay, so aside from all that, and some cliched dialogue, the movie goes along at a generally fine pace, with bits of greatness speckled in. And then, with maybe twenty minutes left, Mike Hodges goes off the rail, trying to fit another hour's worth of conflict into that time. The big confrontation between Will and Malcolm McDowell's Boad is so lamely written, the revelatory explanation almost grotesquely stupid. The buildup to said confrontation fairs no better, random shaving and be-suiting occurs.

-And then there's the end. The end that puts ends to shame, my dears. So very half-assed an ending, it insults and nulifies everything that previously occurs. How I hate that ending.

-Clive Owen, while serviceable, never really sold the 'hard man' that people bragged him as. None of that just-under-the-surface rage. Nothing there at all, really. His face is so stony, even for the character, you can't trace his line of thought. Therefore, nothing he does makes sense.

-Everyone else is fine. Found Jamie Foreman a bit hammy, but in a good way. Charlotte Rampling, an ex-girlfriend of Will's, is there to warmly sput character flaws and wrongdoings, then disappear.

-Basically, and I'll never say this again ever, in my life, because everybody gets one, Jonathan Rhys Meyers gets the most entertaining bits that don't involve the landlady. When he is around is the only time in the entire movie that someone smiles. He is quite good here, actually, in his douchey way.

-Did I mention that the ending has its own speciall ring in Hell? I'm working on it, at least. Posted Dante and everything.

2 comments:

Miss Topanga said...

oh yeah, clive owen's eyes are something. not only in this movie. they can be quite distracting.

after liking rhys meyers in "match point", i think i should check this one out.

September 25, 2010 at 4:05 AM
Yojimbo_5 said...

You have "nailed" why Clive Owen strikes me as "second-tier." Never could articulate my ambivalence. Thanks.

October 6, 2010 at 7:56 AM