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Movie Review: Sexy Beast

Story: When a movie is good it can hit you like a boulder out of the blue from the very first frame (which is one of the reasons I find the opening sequences in films so very important). And this is exactly how this terrific film opens -- a huge crater falls nearly hitting our protagonist as he lolls by his swimming pool. I loved this film and am looking forward to more films from first time British feature film director Jonathan Glazer who has now certainly graduated from directing TV commercials and music videos. He is aided by a fabulous script from Louis Mellis (Nuns on the Run)and David Scinto.

The story has a simple premise (these are very often the most interesting). A retired English criminal is quietly enjoying his life on the coast of Spain, with his beautiful wife and some friends, when his old psycho crime boss invites him to return to London for another heist. This is a character driven film and a thriller. That is not an easy task to accomplish in a movie. Very often the character part is absent and only the thriller remains and what one gets is an empty 'action' film. Not here. The combination of good writing, great timing and directing and exceptional acting make this a summer film not to miss.

Acting: Ray Winstone is absolutely fabulous as the retired criminal. Anyone who has seen him in The War Zone knows what an evil character he can play but in this film he captures all of the nuances of a very difficult part. Kudos to him! Ben Kingsley finally portrays his Anti-Gandhi role. From the moment he bolts onto the screen he is something to pay attention to. He is all energy and portrays a very bad man indeed. Brrrrrrrr! He and Winstone are a perfect duo. The supporting cast are all terrific - Amanda Redman, James Fox, Julianne White, Cavan Kendall and TV's Ian McShane. Great casting.

Critters: Two rabbits

Food: There are several restaurant scenes where there is talk of chicken and calamari but no actual food is eaten.

Visual Art: I am sorry to say that I don't remember.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Exceptional.

Opening Titles: Terrifically understated.

Theater Audience: Nineteen guys and me (all ages).

Quirky Meter: 2

Squirm Scale: 2 ( a scene with a rabbit made me nervous).

Predictability Level: I was surprised by certain turn of events so I would say it was not very predictable.

Oscar Worthy: Yes. I think both actors were good enough for a nod.

Nit Picking: I have no nits to pick.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen this summer. If you want to seen Winstone as a really bad man rent Tim Roth's The War Zone. And if you want to see Ben Kingsley as a saint, rent Gandhi.

Length: a perfect 90 minutes.