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Dom Hemingway

2014

R CC

Jude Law steals the show as DOM HEMINGWAY, a larger-than-life safecracker with a short fuse -- and a long memory -- who sets off to collect what he's owed after 12 years in prison.

Starring:
Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir
Runtime:
1 hour, 33 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Comedy
Director Richard Shepard
Starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke
Supporting actors Jumayn Hunter
Studio Fox Searchlight
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 27, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
"Dom Hemingway" (2013 release from the UK; 94 min.) brings the story of the title character. As the movie opens, Dom is told that he is being released after a 12 year jail stint. Fresh out of jail, Dom and his best mate celebrate his release with a 3 day booze, sex and drug-filled outing, after which they go to France to visit Mr. Fontaine, who is holding the money that is owed to Dom for keeping his silence 12 years ago. In a parallel story, Dom eventually meets his now-grown daughter, who has become a young mother while Dom was in jail. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie is all about Jude Law. In the trailer, the headliner comment was "Jude Law like you've never seen him before", and that is only the half of it. He is clearly enjoying himself in this outlandish role, Check out for example his startling monologue in jail that opens the movie. It helps that the script (from writer-director Richard Shepard) feeds him lots of quick lines that keep things loose. At some point Dom introduces himself to the young son of his estranged daughter: "I'm Dom. Dom is English for unlucky son of a b**ch", ha! Second, if it wasn't clear by now, the movie features plenty of swearing and crass expressions, as well as nudity, so if these things are offensive to you, stay away. Third, there is an interesting soundtrack that, besides the score from Rolke Kent, features plenty of great British bands like the Alarm, the Godfathers, Motorhead, Big Country and others.

I had seen the trailer for this, and couldn't wait to see the movie. It finally opened this weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati.
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Format: Blu-ray
Some directors like to test the endurance of their audiences, and Richard Shepard, writer-director of "Dom Hemingway," is one of them. The very first scene shows the title character (Jude Law) naked in prison, shouting a long, profane and boastful tribute to his favorite anatomical feature. Long and profane monologues, we soon discover, are typical of Dom Hemingway, who has all the macho bravado of his author namesake if not that author's laconic style.

Dom has spent 12 years in prison for safecracking; he would have gotten out sooner, but he refused to squeal on his boss, the mysterious and sinister Ivan Fontaine (Demian Bichir), in expectation of a big payday when he gets out. The movie is the story of what happens to Dom when he's finally sprung. There are many twists and turns he doesn't quite anticipate, though nearly all of them are caused by his notable lack of impulse control. Besides Fontaine, the characters involved include Dickie Black (Richard E. Grant), Dom's dapper best friend; Paolina (Madalina Ghenea), Fontaine's gorgeous but mercenary mistress; Evelyn (Emilia Clarke), Dom's grown daughter, who wants nothing to do with him; and Lester (Jumayn Hunter), a gangster who has never forgiven Dom for killing his cat.

In the end, "Dom Hemingway" is a lightweight film. But it's a wild and usually exhilarating ride, thanks to Law's go-for-broke performance and the scintillating scatological dialogue Shepard writes for him. The supporting cast is fine, but this is Law's show all the way, and it is a compliment to say he makes a spectacle of himself.
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Format: Blu-ray
In (and as) Dom Hemingway, Jude Law emancipates himself from his status as a beautiful leading man and delivers one of his finest performances to date. He is heavier and unshaven. He has a gold tooth. And he is profane and violent: the film opens with the character, a London thief nearing the end of his decade-plus period of incarceration, delivering an ecstatic soliloquy in ode to his, shall we say, manhood. The enthusiastic quality of Law's performance, the sense he is eager to dive into this colorful rogue and explore each compartment and touch each sharp edge, both buoys and, in a way, betrays Dom Hemingway as a film. It is a towering piece of acting. Whether he is raging, seducing, stealing, or otherwise causing trouble, it is a delight to see Law move as the character and an even grander delight to hear him rip through the dialogue, laced as it is with obscenities and left-field cultural references, with ferocious machine-gun speed. As Hemingway's closest (perhaps only) friend and previous partner-in-crime, Richard E. Grant, a cult icon of British comic cinema due to Withnail and I, is also very strong, embracing the role of the dry and wry straight man with poise and wit.

Which leaves us with the film in which Law and Grant find themselves. It is fine, solid even, and has a confident visual style defined by bright colors tempered by urban grit, yet it is also plagued by a modest, unspectacular air. Tonal transitions, including a third-act emphasis on Hemingway's sentimental bid to win over his estranged daughter, are mechanical rather than graceful. Its vision of an old-school gangster caught in a shifting and volatile landscape is never as persuasive as, say, The Long Good Friday, nor is the entire enterprise anywhere near as high-impact and well-woven as, say, Snatch.
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