Monday, February 21, 2011

The Actors (2003)

Cinema Sweetheart's Rating: 10 out of 10
Director: Conor McPherson
Starring: Michael Caine, Dylan Moran, Michael Gambon
Rated: R
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Crime
Runtime: 91 minutes
Foreign Film: Irish (DVDs are Region 2 only)

Anthony O'Malley (Caine) and Thomas Quirk (Moran) are two Shakespearian actors about to put on the show of their lives.  To help himself really get a grip on the villainous side of his character in Richard III, Anthony starts frequenting a bar full of gangsters and low-lives, and while there, comes across a very interesting situation: in Ireland's criminal underworld, a certain party owes money to another certain party, but neither of them have ever met.  Eager to get the money for himself, Anthony decides to enlist the help of Tom, a bit actor with no talent, convincing him that acting in a real life situation where there is something at stake would make him a better actor.  Tom, pretending to be his sister's English boyfriend Clive (Ben Miller), is able to not only get the money from the gangster Barreller (Michael Gambon), but also catch the eye of Barreller’s daughter Dolores (Lena Headey).  Things seem to be going perfectly, until the second party, to whom the money is owed, demands payment, and Tom and Tony find themselves scrambling to fix things before things get worse for them.

I absolutely love this movie!  The ridiculous plot, the spot-on casting, the wonderful disguises…The Actors has it all!  First of all: the plot.  This movie is totally improbable.  Even if Tony and Tom were able to pull off the heist, there is no way that they would be able to keep up the ruse for as long as they did.  Still, it’s one of those films where it’s more comedic because it could never really happen.  You have to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy it!  Second, the casting was perfect for this film!  I loved the many faces of Dylan Moran, especially his impersonation of the Scottish hit man Jacques.  Even when he was just simply Thomas Quirk, he was a loveable and sympathetic character.  However, the big dispute arises with Michael Caine fans, who say that this is one of his worst performances, and a disappointment.  I have to argue this last point.  Michael Caine’s performance is perfect; it’s his character that is despicable.

The only warning I have for this film is language.  There is minimal violence, no sex, and nothing particularly disturbing happens.  However, the film is liberally littered with f-bombs, and would not be appropriate for younger viewing audiences.  If you don’t like excessive language, you might want to avoid this film, although, I think that the movie as a whole more than makes up for the swearing.

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