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Tyrannosaur

by Vladimir Kozlov at 22/03/2012 19:29

It doesn’t happen very often that a short film is later expanded into a feature-length movie. But this is exactly the case with “Tyrannosaur” by actor-turned-director Paddy Considine. Five years ago, his short film “Dog Altogether” won the Best Short Film BAFTA award and the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, which allowed him to expand it into a feature.

The movie is centered on Joseph (Peter Mullan), an unemployed widower whose life is plagued by violence. Killing his dog in a fit of rage turns to be a life-changing event for Joseph who after that begins to try to amend the way he lives. His chance for an improvement comes when he becomes friends with local charity shop worker Hannah (Olivia Colman), and she takes pity on him. But she also has a dark secret that threatens to push Joseph back into his former life.

Although the director has stressed that the movie is in no way autobiographical, it is set in an environment similar to what Considine experienced growing up on a council estate in the Midlands.

“Tyrannosaur” was awarded as the Outstanding Debut at BAFTA this year and it has also collected a bouquet of various other awards and nominations.

It was released to mostly enthusiastic reviews. “The movie is cruelly frank about the ways damage cascades down to the powerless,” wrote a reviewer for The Boston Globe.

“[Y]ou won’t find two finer performances in recent times than those by Mullan and Colman,” added a writer for The Toronto Star.

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