Director: Woody Allen

108 minutes| U.S.A.-U.K.-France| 2007| Colour| Dolby Digital Mono| 35mm

‘If you look at things too closely,’ says Ewan McGregor to his brother (Colin Farrell), who is wrestling with his conscience after a murder, ‘you’re bound to see ugly imperfections.’ The critics saw plenty of ugly imperfections in this: awkward writing, uneven acting, an inauthentic milieu. Undoubtedly the most bizarre of Allen’s recent films, it tells the story of two brothers who, when their lives begin to unravel, are offered big money by their rich uncle (an unhinged Tom Wilkinson) if they dispose of a troublesome professional colleague.

The scenes of pursuit and killing are tensely filmed, driven along by a score from Philip Glass at his most portentously pulsating. Elsewhere Allen’s recurrent theme of the ‘necessary murder’ is rendered in a style that veers between British B-movie and Greek tragedy. For connoisseurs of cinematic oddities, this is fascinating – indeed essential – viewing.

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