Jude Law excels in Dom Hemingway, from Sexy Beast producer Peter Webster.
Jude Law. He's a bankable movie star. He's also a well-respected movie star, with two Academy Award nominations and a BAFTA. The Talented Mr Ripley, Cold Mountain, Road to Perdition and Sherlock Holmes form his finest moments, though all could be eclipsed by Dom Hemingway - a new dark comedy-cum-gangster flick from Peter Watson, the producer behind Sexy Beast, perhaps the last classic of its genre.
Jude Law [L] as Dom Hemingway and the superb Richard E. Grant [R] as Dickie
Law plays a washed up lothario safecracker who refuses to leave behind his life of crime after getting released from prison. He tries to gain revenge on his former boss (the Oscar nominee Demian Bichir) and teams up with his former partner (Richard E. Grant) to do it. He's also trying to reconnect with his daughter, played by Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke, which appears to make for an interesting and comic subplot.
The movie premiered at the Toronto Film Festival two weeks ago and earned strong reviews, despite British gangster films rarely convincing foreign critics. Variety called the lead character "one of the the meatiest personalities in a genre known for larger-than-life types," while Film.com said, "A marvelous lead character, and Jude Law, a little puffier and hairier than usual, turns in a career best performance."
Dom Hemingway Shows His Behind
"He's got the most extraordinary poetic way of expressing himself, he loves the sound of his own voice," Law told reporters of his character in Toronto this month, "He has a power with words. He stills sees himself as a hero, a champion of the people, a rock and roll star, and of course he's not that at all.
"...and it was a challenge..it was a nice for a few months to hang out, eat what I wanted to, drink what I wanted to and smoke what I wanted to," he added.
Of bringing his movie to Toronto, Law explained, "Funnily enough, this year more than ever, bringing a film like this, a truly independent movie...it has great potential. So driving here past queues of people trying to get into cinemas is so exciting. I'm a film buff...so it's lovely coming to a city that embraces that."
Dom and Dickie Catch Up On Old Times in 'Dom Hemingway'
Several commentators have mused of a potential "comeback" for Law on the back of Dom Hemingway, though his recent credits list, Side Effects, Anna Karenina, Sherlock Holmes, Hugo and Wes Anderson's forthcoming The Grand Budapest Hotel suggest otherwise. However, something that's certain is that Richard Shepard's latest movie could give Hollywood movie directors something to think about when considering their next leading man.
A little older and with a little less hair (certainly in Dom Hemingway for which he gained 2 stone and sported a receding hairline), Jude Law has broken free of his pretty boy reputation in recent years - though will Hollywood listen?
Jude Law Says He Drank, Ate and Smoked What He Want For 'Dom Hemingway'
In a genre blighted by at best sheer mediocrity and at worst pure bilge, Dom Hemingway could easily be the best British gangster movie since Layer Cake. Rise of the Footsoldier, RocknRolla, The Business and Welcome to the Punch found their audiences, though a lack of humour just opens everything up to ridicule.
Dom Hemingway could, just could, be different.
It opens in cinemas in the UK on November 15, 2013.