Which is not to say that the central character isn't delighted by his own supposed carnage -- Australia's prime cut of criminal splendor Mark "Chopper" Read revels in his own self-deluding mythology. The smartest thing about writer-director Andrew Dominik's elliptical biopic is to acknowledge that ol' Chopper spins unrealistic tall tales about his bloody escapades. "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story," he giggles. This notorious creep wrote a series of best-selling memoirs exploiting his tale of smashing the living piss out of his cellmates, fellow underworld denizens, floozy girlfriends, and whoever else was unlucky enough to get in his way. How much of it was fantasy is anyone's guess.
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Swinton herself is an ex-boarding school pupil.