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LAWLESS HEART


CAST: Bill Nighy, Douglas Henshall, Tom Hollander, Clémentine Célarié, Sukie Smith, Josephine Butler, Ellie Haddington, Stuart Laing, Dominic Hall, David Coffey, June Barrie, Peter Symonds

DIRECTORS: Neil Hunter, Tom Hunsinger

 

"Neil Hunter and Tom Hunsinger, who wrote and directed this delightful and absorbing movie, have hit upon an ingenious structural conceit. They tell three stories that unfold simultaneously, but present them serially…part of the pleasure of watching ‘Lawless Heart’ lies in making connections between apparently insignificant events and details. A polka-dot scarf, a bouquet of flowers, a young woman escaping from a party over a wall, a frosty dinner-table silence: all of these yield their meanings only when glimpsed a second time, and then a third…by allowing the stories to play off one another and allowing layers of meaning to accumulate before we even notice them, the filmmakers capture some of the essential strangeness of life — the way our relations are governed by laws that remain invisible to us until art reveals their workings." --A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Finally, a British movie without the ever-more-annoying Hugh Grant… It's called ‘Lawless Heart,’ it's set in rural England and it revolves around Stuart, a young gay man who is already dead when the movie opens…‘Lawless Heart’ presents the same events from three perspectives as it details the personal aftermath of Stuart's death. It takes a while to get used to the fractured narrative, but once done it is easy to put your mind on autopilot and go with the offbeat characters and events. Mike Leigh or Ken Loach this ain't. Then again, Hugh Grant is nowhere to be found." --V.A. Musetto, The New York Post

"Beginning three times with a funeral, ‘Lawless Heart’ is the latest in the long procession of movies to borrow ‘Rashomon's’ prismatic structure. British writer-directors Tom Hunsinger and Neil Hunter aim to refract the experiences of a trio of men variously linked to the deceased…‘Lawless Heart’ largely elides the mourning process, and steers so clear of exposition that a reel or two goes by before the weave of identities and relationships untangles…If ‘Lawless Heart’ does stumble uncertainly toward closure in the end, it's perhaps more sympathetic for it—like grieving itself, the film is awkward, messily honest, and sometimes darkly funny." --Jessica Winter, The Village Voice

"Directors/writers Neil Hunter and Tim Hunsinger, who both directed 1996's ‘Boyfriends,’ have fashioned here a sublime screenplay…The film itself is a triptych, using the device much as ‘Pulp Fiction’ and the undervalued ‘Go’ did. Three views of the same events, told one after the other, each through the eyes of a different participant, all tied together by an unsentimental denouement…It has the emotional wallop of a Mike Leigh offering and the acute intelligence of an early John Schlesinger effort. This is a film about learning how to seize the day. And this is a film that does just that." --Brandon Judell, IndieWIRE