Sexy Beast (2000)

December 1st, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Jonathan Glazer | Cast: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Amanda Redman, James Fox, Ian MacShane  | UK Thriller 89’

The story of professional crook called back for one last job is one of the perennial themes of the gangster film. A long way from the terseness and glamour of the classics of the thirties, the opening scene with the boulder rolling into the swimming pool establishes from the get-go that the events depicted in ‘Sexy Beast’ are as much a dream as a nightmare.

Unlike the fast-talking sharply-dressed Hollywood prototype, Ray Winstone’s gangster is an uncouth oaf who discovers the hard way he has more to fear from his associates – represented by bullet-headed troll Ben Kingsley – than the long arm of the law.

A startlingly brunette Amanda Redman makes an all-too-rare appearance on the big screen; while ‘Performance’ and ‘Villain’ are evoked by the presence of James Fox and a very saturnine Ian MacShane.

Along with Get Carter and Long Good Friday, Jonathan Glazer’s feature debut, written by Louis Mellis and David Scinto, represents the best in British crime thrillers. But unlike Mike Hodges and John MacKenzie, who have sadly now left us, Glazer’s star is still in the ascendent. @RichardChatten


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