Withnail and I [Blu-ray]
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Bruce Robinson, the sometime actor and screenwriter ("The Killing Fields"), made his 1986 directorial debut with his semi-autobiographical screenplay that is widely considered the greatest neglected comedy of all time. The slender plot is simple. Flatmates Richard E. Grant (Withnail) and Paul McGann (& I) are two stoned, hungry, broke, and out-of-work actors wallowing in self-made squalor. When they get an opportunity to spend a weekend in the country cottage of Withnail's three hundred pound Uncle Montague, they go, hoping to "rejuvenate." What ensues is an extraordinarily deranged weekend of drunken delusion and distraught discovery that you will never forget. To reveal any more story details would be a gross disservice to those who have not yet found this wonderfully twisted, honest and perfect film.
Richard Griffiths is unsettling as the campy, dissolute predator cousin Montague and Ralph Brown is spot-on as Danny, the slow-talking, menacing but philosophical dope dealer. Hard to believe this was Richard E. Grant's first film. Even harder to believe is that he is a non-drinker who doesn't smoke.
Perfectly cast, nearly every spoken line is unfiltered emotional truth and most are quotable -- especially the caustic diatribes of drunken, acerbic Grant. And the scenes themselves are brilliant set-pieces that unfold like diamonds in the rough being cut to gem-stone perfection.Read more ›
The film itself is a joy to experience. While the plot cannot be accused of being overcomplicated, this simplicity is more than made up for in the wonderful characters and brilliant dialogue (virtually none of which can be quoted in an all-ages forum such as this). Loosely narrated by Paul McGann's "I" character, this film depicts a brief period in the life of two struggling actors as they attempt to find booze, drugs and jobs in the dying days of the 1960s. The movie covers a wide spectrum from some scenes featuring the funniest lines that you'll ever hear to small touching moments that are surprisingly moving. This is highly recommended to anyone who enjoys good moviemaking.
Every character in the picture is superbly acted and written for. It's a testament to Bruce Robinson's directing skills that the characters compliment each other so well instead of clashing and overbearing the others as could so easily have happened. The secondary characters work as well as the leads and each one adds their unique flavour to the mixture. Robinson doesn't make the mistake of giving the smaller parts too much on-screen time and having them overstay their welcome. Each character says and does no more than they need to and leaves everyone wanting more.
Richard E.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Withnail and I is one of my favorite films, easily five stars. I love the dark comedic undertone that broods under this decidedly English tale of two lost actors living a life of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ben Up the Tree
Ummm ... no. Maybe it's a cultural difference, but I just didn't get it.Published 6 months ago by drcg
Classic post seventies booze and dope crashing with Shakespearean underpinnings. Lead actor is perfect--also appeared in how to get ahead in advertising. Read morePublished 8 months ago by firefighter
If you like quirky British comedy -- and not everyone does -- you will love this movie.Published 11 months ago by Herr X
Richard A. Grant & Paul McGann in a totally wigged out cult buddy movie about two down-and-out London actors at the end of the 1960s. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Daniel J Pescatore
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|Withnail and I blu-ray: import ($$$) vs domestic (cheap!)||
I haven't seen the Blu-ray yet, but if nothing else, we at least finally have an anamorphic transfer. Blu-ray.com didn't give it a glowing review, but they said it's still a big improvement over the Criterion DVD I have. Since it's so cheap, I'll probably spring for the upgrade one of these days.
Jun 23, 2011 by Dan Watkins | See all 3 posts
|Criterion?||Be the first to reply|