Jonathan Glazer’s Sexy Beast is one of those rare contemporary thrillers that actually creates an unnerving sense of suspense, rather than rely on lame gun battles and car chases where you know exactly what the outcome will be.
Well, add this British import to that unlikely (especially this early in the year) list. Ben Kingsley plays one of the most menacing criminals in recent memory, as he tries to convince an old, happily retired partner (played by Ray Winstone) to go in on a new scheme with him.
Some of the visual flair here reminded me of Darren Aronofsky’s dizzying Requiem For A Dream, but the real treat is how Glazer treats his subjects with absolute humanity. Because he shows us what they have to lose, it makes the uncertainty of what will happen next very heavy and frightening indeed.
There are no twisty plot points like Memento, but fans of that film will also enjoy the more subtle and hilarious (at times) delights that this and Harry have to offer.
It is a very good year so far for us neo-noir lovers, to be sure.