We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 31 Aug 6:25PM
Stylish, fractured neo-noir from Steven Soderbergh. Tough-as-nails, murderous ex-con Terence Stamp journeys to LA in search of the people he believes killed his daughter
Steven Soderbergh's chic, tantalising revenge thriller is ample evidence of his adventurous and stylish instincts. The Limey is a conventional, noirish revenge story. But Soderbergh has shaped what might have been standard genre fare into an elliptical quasi-dreamscape, peopled with almost cipher characters and told via an arse-about-face structure reminiscent of New Wave auteurs like Bresson and Resnais. It's pleasingly at odds with the efficient but sometimes predictable Hollywood three-act model.
David Wilson (Stamp) is an ageing Cockney ex-con, a fish out of water in LA. He's here on the trail of an ageing smoothie record producer, Valentine (Fonda), who he believes has killed his daughter, Jenny, in a drug-deal cover-up. Once Valentine realises he's a target, he hires hit men to take out Wilson. What follows is a chaotic progress through the tripped-out LA streets, and then onto the post-hippy, moneyed paradise of Big Sur, with Wilson increasingly bent on implacable, murderous revenge.
After the crowd-pleasing success of Out Of Sight Soderbergh evidently felt he had earned the right to make a more stylistically adventurous film. The pleasure to had is not so much from the story as the way it is told, which is exemplified in the casting: Fonda and Stamp, of course, are both 1960s icons and their real lives inform the film's back story.
There is a simple, ingenious device of seeing Stamp in his earlier days, with inserted footage of him in Ken Loach's 1960s film, Poor Cow, where he also played a criminal called Dave. Fans of traditional storytelling virtues, like characters with depth, may object to some of The Limey's style-over-content conceits (the writer, Dobbs, certainly complained when he saw what Soderbergh had done to his story). But the film's lucid intelligence and compelling qualities put it up with Soderbergh's other successes, and confirm him as Hollywood's most versatile talent.
Fractured, sophisticated and rewarding. The Limey is an arty, hypnotic tour de force.
Jack Reynor is Richard, a star athlete who has just left secondary school when a drunken encounter threatens to ruin his future. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, What Richard Did marks Reynor as an extraordinary new talent as a young man who quickly becomes
A season of horror films to celebrate Film4's FrightFest
Room, High-Rise, The Lobster, Youth, 45 Years and Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance have been selected for this year¿s Toronto International Film Festival, which runs from Septem
Check out the exquisite poster for Anton Corbijn's Film4-backed drama Life, starring Robert Pattinson & Dane DeHaan... Inspired by the true story of a friendship that developed between photogra
A summary of the critics and film professionals who voted for the top 50 Horror films of the 21st Century
As voted for by a panel of horror experts and friends of Film4 & FrightFest