In a new column, Richard J. Moir selects his Five Essential British Movies...
5. The Full Monty (1997, dir. Peter Cattaneo)
The Full Monty is the film you heard about when you were a child, but were far too young to know anything about. When I finally got round to watching it, I was half laughing at my innocence beforehand and at the genius of the film itself. Every single actor doesn't fail to put in a performance, with Robert Carlyle already showing why he himself is one of Best of the British. The laughs are sprinkled well throughout the film, and is driven forward by each man's personal fear, of which the others help. Funny, charming and faultless.
4. The Long Good Friday (1980, dir. John Mackenzie)
Having not seen many British gangster films I finally got to see one which many have loved and quoted as the best British gangster film out there. Bob Hoskins stars as the London mob boss, caught up in more than he can handle. Some of the dialogue is superbly written, with Hoskins getting the majority of the witty lines. Some scenes are brilliantly brutal, but others are just laughable, including a shower scene which was meant to be taken seriously, but I couldn't help a giggle. Hoskins steals the show but he isn't against much competition as characters fade in and out too quickly before we get to know them.
3. Gregory's Girl (1981, dir. Bill Forsyth)
Gregory's Girl (starring John Gordon Sinclair and Dee Hepburn) is a romantic comedy, sure to tickle your rib cage and have you wanting more. The subtlety of the humour is brilliant, as Gregory tries to win over tom-boy Dorothy. Each actor brilliantly plays their part in a timeless classic.
2. A Clockwork Orange (1971, dir. Stanley Kubrick)
Dark comedy at it's greatest in one of the most disturbing and controversial films ever made. Malcolm McDowell is brilliant as the narrator, a sex driven rapist who loves Beethoven and his pet snake. What's not to love? The film makes a great contrast from the fantastic novel by Anthony Burgess, and Kubrick sticks well to the story, while using his fantastic directing skills to get the best out of McDowell and also the amazing, futuristic sets.
1. Trainspotting (1996, dir. Danny Boyle)
And here is where we see Robert Carlyle again. Only this time, he doesn't take the limelight. This is for Perth-born Ewan McGregor, who shines in this film about loneliness, drug addiction, sex and Scotland. The film hits home hard, so you have to be prepared to watch it, and the humour is very dark. Although, that can be questioned when you take Spud's character, brilliantly played by Ewen Bremner. Each character is portrayed to perfection and Danny Boyle, one of my favourite directors, has done well with another novel-to-film adaptation. Choose British Film. Choose Trainspotting.
This Is England (2006, dir. Shane Meadows)
East is East (1999, dir. Damien O'Donnell)
The Italian Job (1969, dir. Peter Collinson)
The 39 Steps (1935, dir. Alfred Hitchcock)
Kes (1969, dir. Ken Loach)
Agree? Disagree? We'd love to hear your comments on the list...
Richard J. Moir