I was left with 37 British fiction feature films of the 90 released in 2009 to catch up on in 2010. Now there are 35 to see.
Fifty Dead Men Walking opened on 76 screens in the UK on 10 April 2009, but never came to the Leicester area to my knowledge. It performed quite well at the box office, grossing £0.39m to be in the top 20 British films released January-June 2009. It became available on DVD on 7 September 2009.
Fifty Dead Men Walking [another poor title for a British film] is actually one of the better films that I have seen as part of this quest, and therefore a shame that it didn’t get wider distribution or publicity. Set in Northern Ireland in the 1980s, it draws on autobiographical detail to craft a thriller around the recruitment of an unemployed Catholic man by the British secret service as an IRA informer. The treatment is a bit sensational, sentimental, and lacking complexity, but I love watching Ben Kingsley, and some of the camera set ups are very striking. There might be more ammunition for Philip French’s suggestion that the best British films last year were directed by foreigners – Kari Skogland is Canadian.
Don’t start me talking
I could talk all night
My mind goes sleepwalking
While I put the world to right
(‘Oliver’s Army’, Elvis Costello)