Tyrannosaur

3 May

Director: Paddy Considine

Writer: Paddy Considine

Stars: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan

Motion Picture Rating: 18

Runtime: 92 minutes

 

 

 

Three of the most daring British actors alive have now written and directed three incredibly powerful modern dramas with their first films as director. Gary Oldman had Nil by Mouth, Samantha Morton had The Unloved and now Paddy Considine delivers Tyrannosaur. All three actors had difficult and testing childhoods and their first self-made films bring those experiences vividly to the screen. In this harrowing film Tyrannosaur, dedicated to Considine’s mother Pauline, we are witness to lives full of desperation, violence and threat.

Tyrannosaur is about two people trying to make sense of their small and dark lives around a Leeds estate. Joseph lives alone, has a drinking problem and is prone to acts of impulsive violence. Within the first 5 minutes of this film we see Joseph kick his own dog to death and get into a bar brawl. Hannah works in the charity shop on the edge of the estate. She is quiet and respectful, a Christian that wants to help others, but she appears fragile from the outset. The story of Joseph and Hannah is the story of Tyrannosaur – of lonely people in despair reaching out and finding each other.

There are a few scenes where Joseph, acted with real force by Peter Mullan, just sits and stares at Hannah. He is in awe of this faithful and earnest woman. He is transfixed by her Christian outlook and completely at a loss as to how to treat her.

All of the acting in this film is intense, but Olivia Colman as Hannah is an absolute revelation. A well-known British TV actress she may be, but this performance is so raw and heart-breaking that it physically affected me. That her character is subject to horrific domestic abuse from her husband underlines a key theme that we all know so little about others’ lives behind closed doors. This is a powerful film that is very well directed by Considine. It is not easy to watch, but it has to be watched. Mullan and Colman should have won every acting award going in 2011.

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