I had heard about this film and said to myself this is one film I definitely do not want to see, although I love the work of Michael Winterbottom. And then at the weekend, my husband and I suddenly had two hours to ourselves without the kids, so he rushed me off to Muswell Hill Odeon to see a film. I had forgotten the title, but within a few minutes I realised that I was about to watch the film I had not wanted to see.
Yes, it is gruesome and to some extent a bit empty at the end of the day as there is really no psychological examination of why someone commits these horrible crimes – and then the ending is just horrible and therefore no redemption in the film (when you just think there is going to be some sort of redeeming feature/narrative) .
But as always I was completely struck by Michael Winterbottom the filmmaker – he is such a superb craftsman. The circa 50’s detail is utterly extraordinary, the visual precision and beauty not only of the landscape but the period is arresting. But above all, Michael Winterbottom is a master with actors – those true , unpredictable, idiosyncratic, almost documentary-style performances are mesmerising. For anyone interested in how to work with the actor this is a must see!