Byzantium

"Very Good"

Byzantium Review


Nearly 20 years after Interview With the Vampire, Neil Jordan returns to the genre to breath some new life into a mythology that has grown stale, predictable and rather mopey  (see Twilight). With a lively script by Buffini, Jordan creates a lushly stylish dramatic thriller that continually takes us aback with off-beat storytelling and complex characters who don't always do what we expect them to.

The story centres on mother-daughter immortals Clara and Eleanor (Arterton and Ronan), who are on the run when they arrive in a fading British seaside town. The resourceful Clara seduces the nervous Noel (Mays) so they can stay in his dilapidated Byzantium guesthouse. To earn some cash, the always resourceful Clara turns the empty rooms into a brothel. Meanwhile, Eleanor befriends the fragile young Frank (Jones) and reveals the fact that she and her mother are actually more than 200 years old and need human blood to survive. Through all of this, they're being chased by two elder vampires, the ruthless Ruthven (Miller) and the more sympathetic Darvell (Riley), both of whom share a tangled romantic past with Clara.

Unusually intelligent, the film holds our interest with an astonishing series of twists and turns plus an array of colourful characters that play on stereotypes. Holding it all together is a fairly simple plot that reveals itself in bits and pieces until the full picture comes into focus. From this point, we pretty much know what has to happen in the big finale, but watching events unfold is satisfying and sometimes both thrilling and moving.

The cast is excellent, with Ronan once again creating a remarkably sympathetic hero. Arterton cuts loose as the wild-child Clara, clearly having a lot of fun as she develops strong chemistry with Ronan. Jordan invests the film with a wonderfully gothic sensibility that sometimes feels a little overwrought, but even the most outrageous events have ramifications that lock us in our seats. And underneath the lurid, sometimes violent surface are delicate themes that haunt us long after the lights come up.

 

Rich Cline



Byzantium

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 118 mins

In Theaters: Friday 31st May 2013

Box Office USA: $84.3k

Box Office Worldwide: $85.3 thousand

Budget: $8M

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: WestEnd Films, Demarest Films, Lipsync Productions, Number 9 Films, Parallel Film Productions, Irish Film Board

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
Fresh: 65 Rotten: 39

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Sam Englebardt, William D. Johnson, , ,

Starring: as Eleanor Webb, as Clara Webb, as Darvell, as Frank, as Noel, as Gareth, as Werner, Barry Cassin as Robert Fowlds, David Heap as Lap Dancing Client, Ruby Snape as Wendy, as Barmaid, Glenn Doherty as Steve, Edyta Budnik as Nadia, as Anya, Uri Gavriel as Savella, as Mrs. Strange, as Gabi, Jeff Mash as Mark, as Morag

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

It's Only the End of the World Movie Review

At just 27 years old, Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan has an almost overwhelming set of...

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

Advertisement
The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.