Denis Lawson

Denis Lawson

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Edinburgh International Film Festival - Jurors' Photocall

Denis Lawson - Edinburgh International Film Festival - Jurors' Photocall at Filmhouse - Edinburgh, United Kingdom - Wednesday 17th June 2015

Denis Lawson
Jaqueline Lyanga, Denis Lawson and Jo Hartley
Jaqueline Lyanga, Denis Lawson and Jo Hartley
Jaqueline Lyanga, Denis Lawson and Jo Hartley

EIFF AMY UK Premiere

Denis Lawson - Arrivals for the UK premiere of AMY at the Edinburgh International Film Festival at Cineworld - Edinburgh, United Kingdom - Thursday 18th June 2015

EIFF Opening Night Gala

Jo Hartley, Denis Lawson and Jaqueline Lyanga - Arrivals at the Edinburgh International Film Festival Opening Night Gala red carpet. at Festival Theatre - Edinburgh, United Kingdom - Wednesday 17th June 2015

Jo Hartley, Denis Lawson and Jaqueline Lyanga

Jazz FM Awards

Denis Lawson - Jazz FM Awards at Vinopolis - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 10th June 2015

Denis Lawson
Denis Lawson

Filming of the new TV series 'New Tricks'

Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicolas Lyndhurst, Denis Lawson and Larry Lamb - Filming of the new TV series 'New Tricks' takes place in South London - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 21st May 2015

Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicolas Lyndhurst, Denis Lawson and Larry Lamb
Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicolas Lyndhurst, Denis Lawson and Larry Lamb
Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicolas Lyndhurst, Denis Lawson and Larry Lamb
Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicolas Lyndhurst, Denis Lawson and Larry Lamb
Tamzin Outhwaite

The Machine Review


Good

British filmmaker Caradog James makes the most of a tiny budget with this chilling sci-fi thriller. Toying with big ideas about the repercussions of artificial intelligence, James keeps the focus on the human element, which makes it thoroughly engaging and darkly haunting. It may feel somewhat over-serious, but it also gets us thinking.

Set in the near future, the story centres on top scientist Vincent (Toby Stephens), who is hired by the Ministry of Defense to create a sentient machine that will help the West win the arms-race against China. Vincent has already perfected robotic repairs for wounded soldiers, and now begins working with sharp new assistant Ava (Arrow's Caity Lotz). But as Ava's snooping gets her in trouble, Vincent decides to combine her knowledge of programming with his technical expertise and create a thinking, feeling robot. And of course, Vincent's boss (Denis Lawson) immediately wants to put it to military use.

The film looks terrific, as writer-director James uses military imagery and a creepy underground bunker setting to build an overpowering sense of menace. So even if the script only barely cracks the surface, the characters all seem shifty and dangerous as we discover more about them. Especially the military meatheads who have had corrective brain implants and can communicate between themselves in a secret language.

Continue reading: The Machine Review

Broken Review


OK

While this strikingly well-made film is a great calling card for rising-star filmmaker Norris, it's also so relentlessly dark and unsettling that it's difficult to see the point of it all. This is such a bleak coming-of-age tale that it almost obscures any hope at all, focussing a series of horrific incidents into a confined space that gives the actors and filmmaker a change to shine, but leaves the audience exhausted.

It's set in a North London cul-de-sac, where the pre-teen Skunk (Laurence) lives with her big brother Jed (Milner), her single dad (Roth) and her nanny Kasia (Marjanovic). But her happy life is thrown into chaos when violence erupts: hotheaded widower Bob (Kinnear) storms across the street and punches simple-minded Rick (Emms), seemingly for no reason, triggering a series of events that Skunk struggles to understand. And Bob's three daughters seem to be just as violent. One (Bryant) is mercilessly bullying Skunk at school, while another (Daveney) is seducing Jed.

The way so many story elements circle around Skunk makes the film feel almost like a stage play. Everyone is so interconnected that we wonder if much of this exists only in her mind. For example, Kasia has just started a relationship with Skunk's schoolteacher (Murphy), who has been accused of abusing one of Bob's daughters. And there are even more issues that put Skunk in both emotional and physical peril, including a new boyfriend (Sergeant) who might have to move away and the fact that she has Type 1 diabetes. And Skunk's world seems to be limited to her street and a junkyard across the field.

Continue reading: Broken Review

Perfect Sense Review


Weak
This high-concept apocalyptic thriller starts well, with a lush visual style and strong performances. But Danish screenwriter Aakeson immediately writes himself into a corner: the story and characters have nowhere to go beyond bleak acceptance of the inevitable. So it's difficult to care what happens.

A mysterious illness sweeps the world causing people to experience horrible grief before losing their sense of smell. This creates a challenge for Glasgow chef Michael (McGregor), but that's easy compared to the next epidemic: terror followed by the loss of taste. So with his assistant (Bremner), he experiments with temperature and texture to keep customers happy. Meanwhile, Michael falls for Susan (Green), an epidemiologist trying to figure out what's happening.

People are adjusting to the changes, but the next wave involves rage and hearing loss. How long can human resilience endure?

Continue reading: Perfect Sense Review

Local Hero Review


Extraordinary
I'd never even heard of Local Hero until I read an epitaph of Burt Lancaster, who has top billing but is hardly the star of this charming, unsung little film. Lancaster plays a wealthy oil company CEO who sends one of his crew, Mac (Peter Riegert), to a remote Scottish village where the company wants to locate an oil refinery. He's tasked with essentially buying the whole town, but -- as stories like this go -- the quaintness and unique character of the village creep on on Mac, and soon the whole plan is in a twist. Despite the feel-good, sports-movie title, this is a clever and fun flick from writer/director Bill Forsyth, who's directed only a handful of films that you have probably never even heard of (the exception being Housekeeping). And yes, God help me, it's the feel-good flick of the decade.
Denis Lawson

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