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My Kingdom (2001)
Beautiful, dark and witty
I started checking out Don Boyd's work after seeing his documentary work. What a beautiful, dark and witty film this is, written with Nick Davies who is a superb Guardian writer - his input must have been important although the cinematic imagery and the quirky, witty performances complement the originality of the script.There is some fantastic funny dialogue. Liverpool's landscape has never been portrayed like this before and Boyd gave the great Richard Harris the tools for a superb display of acting intelligence. It is on occasions brutal and uncompromising and the script plays cunningly with the premise - that the court and story of Shakespeare's King Lear can be transplanted to modern crime corrupted Liverpool. It also takes liberties with the fates of Lear's feuding daughters. Cordelia survives but all the actresses who play the girls are wonderfully cast and are all very believable. I have visited Liverpool. All of what Boyd shows is true. Even the evil Sikh character and the corrupt cop, an almost existential performance by Aidan Gillen is unforgettable. A great and seemingly under-rated film although i noticed that really good film critics like Philip French and the man from the LA Times gave it a great review. Compared to other Britsih films it stands out. I wished I could have seen it on a big screen but the DVD i bought had some great extras including some screen tests - I have not seen that before except on a James Dean DVD once.(drool,drool). By the way I am a girl and it is quite violent. But don't believe the nonsense those guys on this site who have written about it so negatively.See it and make up your own mind. Even if you don't like all of it, you will be fascinated as I was. Pity there will be no more Richard Harris movies. He was a great.
a sensitive entertaining portrait
This very visual and entertaining portrait of the relationship between two very different Englishmen completely surprised me. It is a documentary film and yet it had many qualities which gave it an atmosphere of being something more scripted. Andrew and Jeremy are complicated people and they are very frank about their lives and the nature of their quirky love affair. I was never embarrassed and was fascinated by the problems they had to deal with. It was also a beautiful portrait of England now without the usual clichés. I felt privileged and involved. How rare for a documentary. And there was no irritating commentary. A brilliant entertaining film which I recommend to everybody.