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  • This film is an exceptional, very challenging and thought-provoking piece of work. Viewing it, as I did, at a morning showing on opening day, however, is not to be recommended. Having said that, I am not sure when the optimum time for seeing this film would actually be.

    There is a lot of very uncomfortable viewing here. The subject matter - such as it is - is very bleak, but, paradoxically, more life-affirming than depressing. That is to say, I looked at the majority of the characters on screen and thought: please don't let me end up like that.

    The plot is thin - that is not meant pejoratively, it's not a plot-driven film - but the performances of the cast simply roar off the screen. Peter Mullan and Eddie Marsan are fantastic, but then again, they always are (as an aside, does Marsan not tire of playing scumbags?), but the real revelation in this film is the performance of Olivia Colman.

    She is perfect in this, absolutely note-perfect; incredible acting. Awesome in her delivery. So good, in fact, that you forget this is just a movie. Her performance here is definitely going to propel her into the upper echelons of British acting - if she is not already there.

    Tyrannosaur is not faultless, there are some scenes that linger too long and others that linger not long enough, but for an early effort from Considine this promises much for the future. This is Considine's 'Taxi Driver' and I will queue around the block for Considine's 'Goodfellas'.

    Superb writing and gritty direction; performances better yet and Colman delivers on every level. Bravo Ms Colman, and bravo to everyone else associated with the best British film of the decade.

    See it.
  • alizovckers_pxc9 October 2011
    I will keep this simple.

    It has been quite a while since a movie has shook me to my very core, rattled my sense of security, and left me deeply scarred when I got out of the theater.

    Tyrannosaur for me personally is one of the best movies of the year. The year's not over, and it may as well hold a top 3 spot on my list until the end.

    First and foremost, the acting in this movie was outstanding. Mullan, Colman was incredible as the two forces that move the movie. Marsan was genuinely terrifying. These three people should be considered for Oscars when the time comes.

    There were a few moments where I almost...almost turned my head away, and not many movies can claim the privilege of making me squirm and feel uneasy (Not even the fairly recent "A Serbian Film").

    I guess the strongest strength of this movie was the uncanny sense of realism. I've spent enough time learning and observing just what emotions and bursts of rage can do to people. And every bit of rage and anger in this movie seemed all too real. I'm sure some will counter me on this, but for me, I didn't consider any actions, reactions in this movie to be over-the-top. They flowed seamlessly, taking us to bleak, dark places, sprinkling a bit of hope and light along the way, only for us to be shocked again. By god, it was VERY suspenseful in some parts.

    In the end, a few hours after getting out of the screening, I'm still reeling trying to find my composure. No, it's not an easy movie to watch, and yes, some will probably dismiss it as an unnecessary glorification of domestic violence and brutality. But for me it's more than that, it has soul, one that's not easy to capture with a subject as difficult as this, but Considine certainly managed to do just that.

    Watch it if you get a chance.

  • Paddy Considine's directorial debut has been a widely anticipated event. With his excellent performances throughout his British cinematic career, most notably his work with Shane Meadows, a dark, churning piece of cinema was what we have been expecting.

    We have not been let down. Tyrannosaur is as gritty as it is gripping. The setting in a Northern industrial, working class community – the estates of Leeds, creates the imprisoned physical environment for Joseph (Peter Mullen) an alcoholic, self-loathing widower who meets a Christian charity worker (Olivia Coleman) and we are drawn into their troublesome worlds.

    The films workings of violence and desperation draws another influence to my mind, which is Gary Oldman's directorial debut 'Nil by Mouth'. Both are lavished in gritty, deglamorised violence. Both have a tendency to stare the darkness in the eye, unlike some audience members (including myself) that will have an undeniable urge to look away. It's a representation of life on the underside, where it often is difficult, dark, testing and sometimes evil in its twists of fate.

    The film has a strong link to animalistic representations, an element to which instantly brought Andrea Arnolds award winning short film 'Dog' to mind. The idea of trapped animals and the capabilities of those pushed too far is a powerful and dominating theme.

    Needless to say the challenging viewing nature of this film forms the base of its appeal. Its unflinching and unapologetic brutality could be deemed too prosaic for the majority of mainstream cinema goers. You will need to be ready for the challenge to fully take in and be moved by the film, it's not one to watch on a Sunday morning, put it that way.

    The direction and acting are the notables in this production. Most notably Olivia Coleman, whose supporting role threatens to overshadow that of Mullen's, if it wasn't for his own exceptional performance. Mullen portrays Joseph in such a way that despite his loathsome qualities he remains human and even relatable, at times when other characters don't.

    But it is Coleman's character and performance that really underpins and illuminates the rest of the feature. Her character is an almost polarised opposite in comparison with Joseph however as the plot turns we are exposed to an array of character transformations. It is these that actually help support the minimalistic plot which allows us to focus and be consumed by these iridescent performances.

    Considine has excelled himself in his writing and direction, with very few criticisms that could be levelled at each, other than those looking to nit-pick. Whilst somewhat preoccupied with the grim and depressive side of the characters, the film triumphs as it chase's the ray of light at the end of the tunnel. For all its depressing and challenging nature it mirrors the lives it portrays and the personal struggles of the characters, as they keep pushing and fighting. An excellent first feature from Considine and I personally cannot wait for his next offering.
  • 2011 hasn't been a great year for movies. In fact I'm struggling to think of a film that has blown me away but just as you start lose faith a film comes along that knocks you bandy. Tyrannosaur is that film.

    This is a grim film. Grim in every way but where there is despair there is always a chink of light and Tyrannosaur is all about that little chink of light.

    Joseph is an angry man . A very angry man. A man who's life is not good. When he's life is at it's worst he accidentally comes across a good Samaritan in Hannah who see's the good in people yet in reality is having a far worse time than Joseph.

    I have to say that the performance of Olivia Colman has to be the best i have seen by any actor this year. A quite stunning portrayal of a battered woman who has nothing good in her life yet always has a smile for someone. Peter Mullan is fantastic also and it goes without saying that Eddie Marsden is brilliant.

    Writer and director Paddy Constantine should be proud of what he has done here and i cant recommend this film highly enough and if this does not pick up awards in the new year then there is no justice.
  • Seeing "Tyrannosaur" is an experiment of life: the reality described is not so different from the everyday life of many of us.

    Mr. Considine is able to realise, thanks to a perfect script and superb actors, a small masterpiece and a perfect debut.

    The story set in a Leeds of charity shops and pubs, tells the anger, frustration, domestic violence, so common in this early-century England.

    Over time we learn that the request for aid between the main characters becomes mutual, up to a finale as unexpected as disturbing.

    Well done to everyone, but honour to Peter Mullan about holding the entire film with a surprising force and fragility.

    Highly recommended.
  • Tyrannosaur, on first viewing, immediately brings to mind another directorial debut by an acclaimed actor, namely Gary Oldman's Nil By Mouth. The crisis of masculinity, the victimisation of women in domestic settings, incremental brutalisation of children, and penchant for violence among certain kinds of weak-willed men are all overlapping themes. The graphic representation of these themes in visual terms is also common to both films. And finally, both contain outstanding performances from their cast.

    But writer/director Paddy Considine brings his own stamp to this project in his bold portrayal of an odd couple fleetingly driven together in extreme circumstances. Joseph is a self-loathing, hard-drinking loner, haunted by past failures, particularly in regard to his wife, whom he hit. He tries to make up for his character failings with displays of loyalty to a dying friend. It smacks of too little too late.

    Hannah is a devout Christian who works in a Charity Shop during the day, and enjoys a large glass of rioja at night. Her faith is built on less stable foundations than Joseph assumes when they first meet. His attack on her character may well prove to be the last abusive act of his life, such is the scale of regret it will bring in the long-term.

    Peter Mullan as Joseph is convincingly lost, playing a character removed by only a few degrees from the father he portrays in Neds. Olivia Colman is simply immense as Hannah, a brittle front easily broached by Joseph's bile, unleashing a fear and unhinged reaction that even the volatile Joseph struggles to comprehend. In between there is a touching vulnerability and unnerving humanity. Eddie Marsan, as the depraved James, once again proves why he is fast becoming Britain's preeminent character actor.

    This is character-driven social realist film-making to a certain extent, though there is a prominent three-act structure, exhibited more than in most films of the type, including a quite shocking but satisfying 'surprise' at the end. Tyrannosaur forces you to think about how we treat each other, and about the lives unraveling around us that we choose to turn a blind eye to. A mature debut from Considine, who sets a very high bar for himself.
  • billcr124 December 2011
    Peter Mullan is Joseph, a man battling his inner demons, and Olivia Colman is Hannah, a woman he meets by chance in this character driven drama from Britain. Mullan and Colman are magnificent, especially when on screen together.

    Joseph is a rage filled alcoholic who is mad at the world and living alone after the death of his wife years earlier. He meets Hannah, a woman running a consignment shop; she prays for him even though he doesn't believe in God. Her husband is an abusive controlling monster. This is not a happily after story and it feels very realistic, portraying everyday working class people struggling with loneliness, regret and doubt. Mullan and Colman radiate genuine human emotion, never looking like Hollywood,s usual pretty faces. This is worthwhile just for the two leads who are riveting.

    Just be aware that this film will not leave you feeling good about life in general.
  • Red_Identity25 November 2011
    Tyrannosaur was a tough and sometimes brutal film to watch. It's unsettling to watch both of these characters unravel. The best thing about it was the performances. Peter Mullan was great, but it was Olivia Colman who really stood out. Her character transformation was completely believable, and she was a powerhouse. To me, she was the driving force behind this film. The film takes some really unexpected turns in her character's arc, and by the time its over, it felt more like her film than Mullan's. As of now, she stands as one of the best performances of the year, and I hope many people take notice. Overall, definitely recommended, especially for Colman
  • maxandria9 February 2012
    This superb film represents a coming of age for director Paddy Considine. It's a work of genius and a genuine work of art.

    Stunning performances are delivered by all of the cast members, right down to the minor roles. The wee lad is brilliant! However the stage is stolen by the 2 lead actors, Mullan and Colman. Their chemistry brings tears to the eyes on a number of occasions. Marsan is brilliant too. His character is at times more frightening and sinister than Mullan's, which is obviously what was intended!

    The film is at times very hard to watch because there are literally no punches pulled at any point. The ride is worthwhile though - it is utterly compelling, deeply thought provoking stuff. Just brilliant.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In Tyrannosaur, the relatively young but well-established actor Paddy Considine (he's 37) directs a group of superb British thespians in a searing drama about a rageoholic widower in the town of Leeds. Basing his protagonists on unspecified but intimate experiences, and aspects of his own mother in the dead wife, Considine has written a film that's intense, brutal, and compelling. It takes us to the deep end of violence and cruelty but leads us through to a sense of redemption. A gray, grizzled, lonely, angry pub denizen widower, Joseph (Scot Peter Mullan, a scary life-force with both violent and sensitive sides) displays nothing but drinking-fueled violence in the early scenes of the film, in which he beats his own dog to death, smashes the window of a bank, and assaults three rowdy youths in a pub when we're barely past the credits. He runs into a charity shop to hide from the youths, and it's here he meets Hannah (Olivia Colman, complex and heartrending), with whom he will be involved throughout the film. Considine strains the audience's ability to stomach violence and ugliness, but hardly strains our credulity. He has made what is very close to a great film.

    When Joseph hides behind a rack of clothes in the shop, Hannah calms him and prays for him. He begins things on an honest basis with her, declaring, "My best friend's dying of cancer. I killed my dog. I'm f--ked." Visits to his friend and a funeral punctuate the action and add perspective. The next day in a desperate emotional state Joseph returns to the shop again, but is abusive and nasty about Hannah's religiosity and what she later ironically calls her "cozy" life in the Manors housing estates. Now the film's point of view shifts to Hannah. We learn she too drinks whenever the bus takes her home to her suburban house. First it may seem this is to deal with the violent emotions she has absorbed from Joseph, but it soon emerges that she lives in a horribly abusive relationship with her jealous, cruel and desperately unhappy husband James (Eddie Marsan), whose return home is anything but a pleasure. There's a surprising role-reversal that gradually develops between Joseph and Hannah.

    James' behavior makes Joseph's violence seem simpler. He urinates on Hannah for falling asleep on the sofa before he gets home, and other cruelties she reveals later that prevented her from childbearing are disgusting (and some of her experiences may strain credulity). Joseph's mood swings are scary while Joseph seems his own worst enemy but not entirely a bad man. For one thing he has one warm relationship with a kid across the street (Samuel Bottomley) who must live with his irresponsible mother (Sian Breckin) and her aggressive punk boyfriend (Paul Popplewell ) but maintains good humor and friendliness toward Joseph. There's some humor if of an insensitive kind too in Joseph's explanation to Hannah of how "Tyrannosaur" came to be his nickname for his overweight diabetic wife, but the word suggests that part of him is a prehistoric raging animal. The film's final scene offers hope for both Hannah and Joseph.

    Considine seems just to be establishing character and situation halfway through the film, but when Hannah and Joseph seem equally at risk of violence, inflicted on self or by others, events become tense and suspenseful, and desperate though the characters are, we care about them and wonder what will happen between Hannah and Joseph when she leaves James for the drunken widower as the safer bet. Semi-comical rants from Joseph's drinking scraggly-haired drinking partner Tommy (Ned Dennehy) add flourishes, and the death of Joseph's friend and his funeral, which family and Hannah, now very battered and taking refuge with Joseph, provides a temporary pause before final revelations. Considine is as strong in the plotting as in the character areas, and his choice and directing of actors can't be faulted.

    There is intensity and bitter truth in Considine, who steers clear of the edge of wild fantasy one finds in the Irishman Martin McDonagh. His harshness verges on the crude. But considering how well all the elements are managed here, Considine has produced a very impressive debut. He knows how to grab you and hold you all the way through. If you're looking at your watch, it just because you're terrified. Brutal and ugly this world may be, but Considine seems to know it and love it enough to show its truth and humanity. The accomplishment here is to give us lives that seem broken and hopeless and then hold our sympathy and offer a chance of a new beginning that's far from soft and easy. Erik Alexander Wilson's images, which for a welcome change are not distractingly jerky and hand-held, have a kind of limpid clarity, and there are some songs at the funeral that are almost too rich and pretty. Peter Mullan is also a director. He and Eddie Marsan figure in the dark, intense Red Riding trilogy, as does Paddy Considine. Considine is known for his beginning with Shane Meadows, and has significant Hollywood acting credits. His 2007 Bafta-winning short, Dog Altogether, presented Mullan and Colman in the same roles, differently developed.

    UK, 91 min. Tyrannosaur had its US debut at Sundance where it won acting awards for Colman and Mullan and a directing award for Considine. A Strand Films US theatrical release is scheduled for October 11, 2011. Seen and reviewed as part of the New Directors/New Films series presented from March 23 to April 4, 2011 by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and MoMA, NYC.
  • Recently Hollywood and the various film industries across the globe have seen an upsurge in the amount of on-screen performers who are taking a break from acting in front of the camera to instead take control from behind it. Paddy Considine, the star of 'This is England' and 'Dead Man's Shoes,' is now a member of this increasingly growing club with his first feature-film debut 'Tyrannosaur'. Written and Directed by Considine, this is an uncompromising debut film from the former photographer, which examines the destructive effects of violence and aggressive behaviour on the lives of two different individuals who are drawn together through their developing friendship.

    Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a lonely, cynical, and belligerent working class man. He spends his days drinking alone in the Pub and gambling in the local bookmakers where his only friends reside. Violent and abusive outbursts govern his existence thereby creating a solitary creature who acts on instinct rather than reasoning. However, Joseph's life changes when he meets and befriends Hannah (Olivia Colman), a local Christian woman who is constantly being verbally and physically abused by her sadistic husband James (Eddie Marsan). Both tortured souls, they find solace in each other's lives and develop a friendship which transcends their misgivings.

    'Tyrannosaur' is an uncompromising, and at times, difficult film to watch as the characters' lives are laid bare for the whole audience to observe. Joseph responds to problematic situations through the use of his fists, while Hannah simply acts out of fear and denial. Both Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman give fantastic performances; Mullan is initially a brutish, vagrant looking male who can't naturally become entwined in society, but as the film develops, empathy begins to grow for a man who accepts his short-comings and the fact that he may never be able to overcome them. With humanity arising slowly from his dishevelled face through his relationship with the young, neighbourhood boy Sam (Samuel Bottomley).

    While Colman's striking performance, which is far-cry away from her role on the hit British comedy series 'Peep Show,' shows a woman who is conflicted in all manner of her beliefs. Her religious beliefs give her the naivety to believe that her husband can change, while her heart knows that he will only stop hurting her when her beatings become fatal. This is most notable in the scene where James breaks down in tears at her feet after striking out at Hannah, as she cradles his head he constantly professes his love for her repeating the phrase "it won't happen again, you know it won't happen again." Hannah constantly reaffirms his worries saying that she does love him, but as she lowers his head, the camera observes her changing emotions as the audience is shown that Hannah is clearly not a woman in love with James, but instead she is simply afraid of him.

    Considine's first directorial effort is certainly a competent effort, he never attempts to direct the audience's attention too far from the script or the two central performances at hand, but this itself is the film's primary flaw. While it is captivating and emotionally unsettling, it is also a narrative which is not uncommon in modern British cinema (or known to some as 'miserable British cinema'), and it portrays the same judgements and ideals as many of its predecessors did before without providing anything new to the sub-genre at hand, especially in the culmination of the sub-plot involving the young boy Sam and his neglectful mother and boyfriend.

    Despite its unoriginality in the narrative's conclusive mediation, the film still manages to evoke a strong emotional response from the viewer through its combination of horrifying visuals and fragile performances from the two lead British actors, as Paddy Considine begins his feature film journey with a solid and respectable character portrait of two broken individuals.
  • Actor Paddy Considine's directorial debut has an actor's aura about it: the characters are the story, and in this case the central character, anti-hero Joseph (Peter Mullan) is an uncontrollably angry working-class Brit from Leeds who beats two dogs to death in between humans he bloodies up.

    As his foil, Hannah (Olivia Colman) is the essence of kindness, bonding with Joseph in her thrift shop but suffering physical abuse from her middle-class husband, James (Eddie Marsan), who urinates on her, beats her, and rapes her.

    In Considine's world, anger and violence have only a brief respite, for instance when Hannah and Joseph attend a pub party in honor of Joseph's best friend's death. Otherwise, cruelty rules with a bit of redemption in Hannah. Even that notion is ironic given the denouement of the story.

    Considine takes Mike-Leigh-like kitchen sink realism to a new level, almost as if he were parodying the venerable Brit staple. But, no, this is the real deal of aggression, and Mullan is close to perfect as the angry old man who could be redeemed if he had the moral strength.

    While misanthropy dominates this bleak landscape, it's the acting that makes it all enjoyable. It's tough out there, dinosaurs of all kinds troll for heads and hearts.
  • moviemanMA21 December 2011
    There is a moment in Paddy Constantine's Tyrannosaur where the two main characters confront each other about a major problem they are facing. For the first time the male protagonist sees what he was, what he has failed to do, and what he must do to make things right. It is such a cathartic moment of clarity for him and his female friend, both clarity and horror, and a complete shock for the audience.

    Peter Mullan stars in one of the year's best films. He plays a man, Joseph, who suffers from alcohol, loneliness, and worst of all rage. His temper hurts those around him and gets him into more trouble than he can chew. His only friend is dying, the daughter of which hates both him and her dying father. He drinks all day, staggers home at night, and fights anyone who does him wrong, or at least what he calls wrong.

    One day he winds up hiding inside a woman's garment shop. She finds him irritable, vulnerable, and extremely volatile. The woman, Hannah (Olivia Colman), does what most of us wouldn't do. She let's him be, offers tea, and prays for him. This confuses Joseph. It's quite evident, but underneath all the testosterone and aggression you can almost see him trying to figure out why she helps.

    We soon find out that she is the victim of someone similar to Joseph, only more cruel and abusive than just angry. Her husband James (Eddie Marsan) drinks as well but his temper and need for sex and authority drive him to do awful things to Hannah. Joseph and Hannah strike an unlikely friendship, attempting to find solace in the utter chaos that is life.

    Mullan and Colman play off of each other so well. They both need help and want help but don't know how to ask others let alone help themselves. Mullan's character lost his wife to diabetes, though his aggression doesn't stem from that single incident. We don't know everything about him or Hannah but we know their characters have seen a lot and have had to deal with more than your average Joe. Their faces and their voices speak volumes of their back story.

    Director Constantine makes his feature debut (he also wrote the script). He shows a gritty and morbid, Irish Landscape, where the beer flows, the skies are rarely bright and sunny, and the nights are filled with barking dogs, violent husbands, and tortured souls crying out. He has developed some really deep, disturbed characters that have significant baggage. The writing is authentic (I'd be curious to find out how much was improvised by Mullan and others, especially during tirades). There is a great deal of heart poured into this film.

    There is a good amount of disturbing material here that some people might find offensive. As tough as these scenes and images are to take in I find that they are necessary to tell this type of story. Violence is not pretty, but when done with a certain grace and dedication it can really turn into something special, such is the case with Tyrannosaur.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Ever since his debut appearance in Shane Meadow's cult classic A Room for Romeo Brass back in 1999, Paddy Considine has provided us with a diverse range of characters in low budget wonders as well as appearing in a number of Hollywood productions. His acting ability seems to know no limits and it was with great anticipation that I awaited the opening credits of his feature length directorial debut Tyrannosaur, blissfully unaware of the gritty realism and brutality that was about to unfold before my eyes.

    It was interesting to see that Brian Cox was also in the audience, it is clear that this actor turned director is respected not just by his audience but also by his peers. When the lights went down in the packed cinema a stark silence fell on the audience, the anticipation was enormous, and I was hoping that Tyrannosaur would live up to its name.

    After the success of his BAFTA award winning short film Dog Altogether, Paddy decided to revisit the characters he first introduced to us back in 2007 to take an in depth look at their lives. For those unfortunate enough to have missed this short, it follows the path of an unhinged man, Joseph, and his encounter with a religious charity shop worker, Hannah, who will seemingly stop at nothing to help him. This scenario is revisited in Tyrannosaur and it is great to see that Considine stuck with the same actors, with both Peter Mullen and Olivia Colman putting in exceptional performances which are only enhanced by the inclusion of Eddie Marsan as Hannah's violent husband.

    Comparisons to Shane Meadows work are inevitable but Tyrannosaur is an altogether different beast, with lashes of dark humour and depraved acts that would not be out of place in a Peckinpah film. It is incredible how Paddy manages to create a feeling of empathy towards Joseph, he is a violent brute with little or no concern for those around him but somehow also strangely likable. His relationship with Hannah is the key to this as we see rare glimpses of affection which indicate a human side to him, even though we are well aware that deep inside there is a monster lurking.

    Joseph is not the only one prone to violent outbursts, with Hannah's husband even more twisted and abhorrent. From the offset it is clear that there will be an inevitable confrontation between these two characters and the build up to this climax is outstanding. The supporting cast do a fantastic job of grounding the story, with a gripping subplot involving a young child and his suffering at the hands of his mother's cruel boyfriend. I fear that I have already given away too much but I have barely scraped the surface of this captivating drama that will be playing on my mind for a long time to come.

    For a debut film this leaves one hell of an impression whilst asserting Considine's position as a Director to watch out for. In my eyes it is the third great British debut of the year, following on from Richard Ayoade's Submarine and Joe Cornish's Attack The Block, and it gives me faith that our nation can compete with Hollywood when it comes to one of the most important aspect of a film-making, the art of storytelling.

    Paddy was gracious enough to appear at the preview screening I attended for a Q & A session following his film and the rapturous applause spoke for itself. I have encountered him twice before at gigs where he played with his brilliant band Riding the Low and he always comes across as a charismatic, down to earth guy with a genuine passion for his art whether it be acting, singing or directing.

    It wasn't long before he mentioned his pal Shane Meadows, and not long after this Paddy's phone went off; "It's Shane telling me I better watch what I say about him" he retorted, reading his text message. It's off the cuff comments like this that make it so easy to warm to the man, and it was not long before we were all putty in his hands, listening to his fascinating anecdotes and eager to press him for as much information as we could in the time allotted.

    My highlight of the session was Paddy's retort about filming on location; "You can't film Inception down the f****** high street", and he went on to mention how the way a man came past walking his dog provided the idea for one of the key scenes in the film. In another scene shot in a pub, I was astounded to learn that the guitarist was given the part in order to stop him from pestering the crew. The song he created fitted perfectly with the mood of the film indicating that Paddy is unafraid to take risks with his film-making in order to provide us with the aspect of realism that echoes throughout Tyrannosaur.

    One of the highlights of British cinema this year, Tyrannosaur is an outstanding debut with powerful performances that should not be missed. Fans of Considine will certainly be impressed by his decision to move behind the camera and those new to his work will be dumbstruck by the sheer brilliance of what could well be the next great British director.
  • I don't feel the need to drone on at length as some other users have effectively summarised the film's core plot and themes. However, I felt that this film was such a work of art I could not help myself but come on here and add my voice to the chorus of compliments this film has been receiving.

    I like nothing better in a movie than something that is thought provoking and gripping. I get so bored with some of the formulaic nonsense churned out by filmmakers these days, particularly from Hollywood. If I sit down to watch a film and I find myself utterly absorbed then that's usually a sign that the piece is something special. This was one such film and it was over before it had even started, such did it hold my attention that I had no concept of the passage of time.

    The script, written by director Paddy Considine, isn't anything out of this world. It's fairly basic and, in plenty of instances, predictable. It is actually the direction and masterclass acting performances that serve to make this movie what it is. It is abundantly clear what the script sets out to do. Had the cast been average, or simply not the correct casting choices, this movie would've been instantly forgettable. However, all three of the principle cast are absolutely amazing. Peter Mullan's good hearted tortured soul of a man is played to perfection as he lives a daily battle with the rage and anger that has become his demon and undoing in life. Eddie Marsan's ability to communicate the sheer evilness of the abusive husband is gripping, especially considering the contrast he represents to other characters in the picture in that his character was more evil and nasty than fighting inner demons or pressure.

    However, the major shout out of this film is Olivia Coleman's performance. It is truly astounding. I have been following her work ever since she appeared in a guest role in The Office. She just gets better and better. She expertly channels pressure of trying to keep one's self together despite having to live an intolerable and hidden existence. Despite her inevitable descent into the more during the course of the picture Coleman manages to continue having the audience feel nothing but sympathy and compassion for her character. An unfortunate victim of a world in which cruelty and evil is all too real and all to effecting should we come face to face with it in our lives.

    I am not sure whether or not this picture has been released too late, but I was astounded to see Coleman not getting a best actress/best supporting actress nomination at the Academy Awards. I'm amazed how a performance like this gets overlooked, yet an actress from Bridsmaids gets the nod. It beggar's belief.

    For those wanted a thought provoking film this is not to be missed. It is arguably the best British film of the year. For aspiring actors and actresses I would say this is a must watch.
  • I had absolutely no knowledge or expectations for this film before watching it and I think this probably augmented the shock that came with its viewing. To sum it up in one word, I'd say this film is unsuspecting. The characters, plot and action are all totally plausible and the realist style lulls you into a sense of suspended disbelief which makes the impending violence all the more shocking. When I say violence, I don't just mean a Hollywood-style orgy of blood and guts everywhere. This isn't sensationalist torture porn like the Saw films. Tyrannosaur's violence is real and conceivable, like it could actually happen. But it happens when you least expect it and by those whom you least expect it from. The resultant effect is a shock that stays with you well after the film is finished. The cast are incredible. Peter Mullan gives authenticity to a character so filled with rage it would seem impossible for people like him to really exist. Eddie Marsan is one of the most provocative villains I've ever seen on screen and Olivia Colman's performance immediately tricks you into forgetting what Peep Show is, much less remembering that she was in it. I left this film thinking Paddy Considine HAS to make more films. The direction if faultless – it has the same oppressive grey landscapes as you would expect from any social realist film and focuses more on faces, expressions and economic storytelling than superficial flare. His writing is top notch too. He has a way of clearly highlighting the issues and themes (domestic abuse, anger, lust and love) and presenting them in a fresh, engaging, inspiring and shocking form. Tyrannosaur is a damn good film but it's not enjoyable in the conventional sense of the word. It's affecting more than anything. You're moved, frightened and shaken by the things you see. You physically and emotionally react and this, I think, is what makes a good film.
  • For much of the past century, class consciousness has been at the centre of Britain's film output. Developing the style dubbed by commentators and critics as 'British Realism', our filmmakers seem continually preoccupied with class division and its inherent anxieties. But more than ever, realism seems to have very little to do with it, as what began with such kitchen-sink masterpieces as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning has now been reduced to one-dimensional and clichéd depictions of life on 'the other side of the tracks'.

    In the world of all things edgy and British, Paddy Considine is almost too good to be true. He is a long-time friend and collaborator of Shane Meadows, has starred in an Arctic Monkeys video and, of course, has a regional accent. After a decade of acting in such high-profile films as Dead Man's Shoes and Submarine, Considine made the transition into writing and directing with his short film Dog Altogether. His new film, Tyrannosaur, expands upon the BAFTA award-winning short and, much like Considine himself, is a veritable checklist of Brit-flick cliché.

    The film tells the story of Joseph (Peter Mullan) and Hannah (Olivia Colman). Joseph is a gruff alcoholic, whose violent rage obscures a heart of gold; Hannah is a middle-class charity-shop volunteer, whose cheery exterior hides a torturous home life. The two meet and, would you believe it, they realise that - despite their different backgrounds - they are kindred spirits.

    Not only is the plot a little on-the-nose, but Tyrannosaur is so painfully conventional that at times it borders on parody. Even the setting is all too familiar: a gloomy estate shrouded in perpetual dusk, where sirens are forever sounding in the background and children kick ragged footballs against graffiti-adorned walls.

    Furthermore, the way in which Considine attempts to unpick the binary between the middle- and working-class experiences is blatant to the point of being distasteful. In order to show us that Joseph and Hannah share the same pain, Considine juxtaposes images of Joseph spending his evenings in an old armchair, wearing a vest and holding a baseball bat to his head, with scenes of Hannah in the comfort of her new-build home, sobbing into a glass of Blossom Hill. Whilst Considine deals with some pretty dark subject matter - namely abuse, rage and alcoholism - such relentless stereotyping robs the film of any actual pathos.

    As the two tortured souls begin to find solace in one another, the rest of the film unfolds in an equally embarrassing fashion. At one point, Hannah joins Joseph at his local pub for his friend's wake. What follows is a horrendous scene in which she drinks lager, smiles incessantly and dances around with Joseph and his rag-tag group of friends. The fact that this exact sequence was perhaps done with about the same level of sophistication in James Cameron's Titanic, where Rose joins Jack in steerage to dance a jig and drink Guinness, is rather telling of the level of insight into class division Tyrannosaur provides.

    In spite of the dire material they are given, the cast do rather well and are of notably high esteem. Peter Mullan, for instance, has starred in some of gritty British cinema's most beloved films, including Ken Loach's Riff Raff and Danny Boyle's Trainspotting. Yet this impressive pedigree only adds to the overriding sense of self-parody, as Tyrannosaur is little more than a caricature of the sort of film that someone like Mullan would find himself in.

    Tyrannosaur has already won numerous awards at both the Sundance and Munich film festivals, and it's easy to see why. Like the old Hollywood joke that all you need to do to win an Oscar is make a film about the Holocaust, it seems that all you need to do as a British filmmaker to find critical success is to cobble something together involving a grotty pub, a rough estate and a pit-bull chained to some railings. Tyrannosaur is all this with bells on: a paint-by-numbers British drama that is as offensive as it is redundant.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The late screen writing guru, Blake Snyder, came out with a book a few years ago, entitled 'Save the Cat'. He argued that a successful screenplay should contain a 'Save the Cat' moment at the beginning of a script, where the hero ingratiates his audience through a humanitarian gesture (it could involve helping a person or even an animal; hence the term, 'save the cat'). Newcomer writer/director Paddy Considine turns Snyder's advice on its head by offering up the opposite: a 'Kill the Dog' moment. Rather than feeling sympathy for the protagonist, Considine seeks to alienate the audience from his protagonist and is quite successful—I can't recall a film in recent memory where not only one, but two dogs are actually killed by the film's protagonist.

    My pet peeve with 'independent' films these days, is that many protagonists don't like themselves. I call them 'sad sacks'. They're the type of characters that don't make for good drama, since their egos are weak, are always down on themselves, and have little or no charm. Considine's 'Tyrannosaur' goes a step further by offering up Joseph, the unemployed North England widower, who has a perpetual anger management problem. When he meets domestic violence victim, Hannah, who runs a charity shop, his harsh words toward her, are a very hard draught to take.

    Nonetheless, there is an even more despicable character than Joseph and that's Hannah's husband, James, the ultimate abusive husband. James' character is designed to shock as he's seen returning home one night, intoxicated, and ends up urinating over Hannah while she sleeps. He later rapes her and she reveals that he's placed shards of glass in her vagina in the past, causing her to become infertile. While the domestic violence scenes are admittedly powerful, they are also wholly manipulative, since James is merely a one-dimensional monster. It would have been much more difficult for Considine to humanize his villain. This also holds true for his secondary characters, the skinheads who live across from Joseph, who are also perpetually angry, and are not above goading a dog to attack a child.

    Considine attempts to humanize Joseph a bit as he ultimately softens up in his relation to Hannah. But in a cruel twist of fate-SPOILERS AHEAD-Hannah is jailed for murdering her abusive husband. While Joseph pays his respects at a funeral for a friend and visits Hannah in prison at film's end, this seems to indicate that he's 'cleaned up his act' somewhat; but is it enough to forgive him for past transgressions? Some would say, given his background, 'yes'. But to my mind, the horrible killing of the two dogs, is enough to reject Joseph out of hand. There are many people who had horrendous childhoods or difficult lives, who don't end up killing defenseless animals and subjecting others to continuous, psychotic outbursts. Considine seems to argue that characters like Joseph, should be given a 'free pass'; or perhaps people should be 'understanding', given the environment these characters come from.

    There are occasional strong moments in 'Tyrannosaur', especially the aforementioned domestic violence scenes. But there were some characters who were too one-dimensional (such as James) and others like Joseph, who I was inclined to have little sympathy for. Only Olivia Colman's performance as the brutalized Hannah, proved to be compelling and saved the film from a total unpleasant aftertaste. With so many films on the market, investing oneself in Joseph's journey, is not one I would care to take again.
  • I first have to say that the performances are all quite stunning; particularly Olivia Colman. She takes a very measured approach to the role and it comes off perfectly. Peter Mullan was also excellent as Joseph; a great piece of casting as I felt he was ideal for the role. Eddie Marsan plays the abusive and somewhat creepy husband just right and I have to also give a mention to the young actor Samuel Bottomley, who plays a local boy who Joseph looks out for. I'm sure this young man will have a great future. This is a film that is all about the performances; there are no special effects or fancy camera trickery; it lives or dies on the performances and I have to say (for me at least) it worked to a tee! One of the criteria I use when deciding whether I like a film or not, is the emotional response it generates. And I can honestly say with this one it was all positive. Don't get me wrong, you are taken all around the houses on the way there, but to end it they way they did I though was just perfect!

    SteelMonster's verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

    My score: 9.6/10

    You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.
  • I don't remember ever having sat through a film with my hand over my mouth for the entire duration but that is exactly what has just happened, from opening scene to close.

    Knowing that this was a film by Paddy Considine, a man known all too well for his roles as tormented souls, abusive sociopaths and vicious psychos, I had the feeling that this wasn't to be taken as lightly as the picture on the front cover suggested.

    Tyrannosaur is in fact a seething monster in the calm before the inevitable rampage and I believe that Considine has just gone and proved himself the most intensely expressive actor turned director since Gary Oldman brought us Nil By Mouth.

    The story (without spoilers) goes that Joe is a violently angry and disturbed man whose rage and aggression has already seemingly cost him dearly, yet we see first hand the extent of the damage he brings on himself.

    His revulsion towards his own actions bring him to cross paths with Hannah, a Christian charity shop worker who delivers him somewhat from the consequences of an outburst of rage. But when he judges her for someone that doesn't understand him or know the life he's lived, little does he realise the damage and rage boiling beneath her own calm exterior.

    Tyrannosaur has the ability to be so many different kinds of story all at once and thanks to the clear direction of Considine, the superb script and the outstanding performances of Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and the surprisingly solid Eddie Marsan, you know all too well that the characters are capable of taking it in any one direction with all the purpose that their rage amounts to.

    But Tyrannosaur's true grit and determination keeps it on one set path. And never have I seen a film that so often portrays the very real fear, sadness, anger and confusion of any one character, yet does not get lost. This film is bleak, dirty, perverted, angering, tragic - downright gutting in fact - and yet it becomes uplifting and redemptive.

    I would never want to tell Shane Meadows that he's out of a job but by the looks of Paddy Considine's first venture behind the camera, he surely has competition.

    If this film doesn't rock the film industry, they're all dead inside!
  • The Kitchen Sink and Social Realistic genres are ever present in the UK as British filmmakers explore that the darker elements of life and society. Tyrannosaur is a film that shows that the genre is still alive.

    In a nameless working class town Joseph (Peter Mullen) is an unemployed man with a violence temper and flies into fits of rage with ease. After killing his dog and threatening a teenager in a pub Joseph hides in a charity shop. They he meets a Christian woman, Hannah (Olivia Colman) offers the hand of friendship to Joseph. But Hannah is also a victim of violence, suffering at the hand of her abusive husband (Eddie Marsden).

    Tyrannosaur is the directing debut for actor Paddy Considine. He has a very hard-hitting, unflinching style as he is not afraid the most the darkest aspects of life. Considine explores the themes of violence in society, how it affects people from the perpetrators to the victims and that it affects people from all walks from life. Violence at both the forefront and in the background as it effects characters in the background. The destructive effects of alcohol plays on people, playing with their emotions and acting as a coping mechanism. The pacing is just right, the score was soft and subtle and the cinematography had a dark simplicity to it, highlighting the bleakness of the town and the situation of violence.

    The acting was fantastic throughout. Both Mullen and Colman had difficult roles and they did everything they needed to. It would have been easy to make out Joseph to be a vile human being that we want to see come to serious harm but Mullen does bring out a lot of character and complexity to his role: I admit that his accent and grumble makes him a little hard to understand at times it was still a very compelling performance and it would be easy to far a man like him despite being in his late forties/early fifties. Playing a victim of domestic abuse is always a tough role to get right and Colman (known mostly for comic roles) gives a natural performance and deserved many of the Best British Awards she earned.

    Tyrannosaur is a very tough watch with some very graphic scenes that shock for its brutal depiction as a man searches for redemption. Tyrannosaur is a film you should see once.
  • MattyGibbs21 June 2012
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is a superb piece of gritty realistic cinema from a director with his finger on the pulse.

    If you are looking for an easy film to watch then this isn't for you. The film opens with the main character killing his dog- how can you feel any empathy for this character?. Well watch this film and tell me you didn't feel something for him. Life is not black and white and this film affirms this brilliantly.

    The relationship between the thuggish Joseph and the gentle and kind Hannah is at times uncomfortable but is dealt with in a realistic and brutally honest way.

    The acting performances of the three main leads, Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman and Eddie Marsan are nothing short of phenomenal. The film is bleak but has it's moments of tenderness and every scene seems to work.

    My only negative about this film is that it's too short- I could have gladly watched another 1/2 hour. The only reason this film hasn't got a 10 from me is that I never give any film a 10 on first viewing. This came pretty close to breaking that rule.

    If you are looking for a non sensationalist piece of gritty drama then you will never do better than watching this film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I warmed to the idea of watching this film purely after seeing Mr Considines' performance in Dead Mans Shoes. I found his acting to be absolutely brilliant so was curious as to whether his film making would match his asking skills. And boy did they match up.

    In regards to the opening animal death scene. I NEVER watch animal documentaries purely for the reason that I hate seeing animals being killed even if it is for food. Any advert appealing for help from animal charities is upsetting for me so I agree the opening scene was tremendously upsetting. The second time I watched Tyrannosaur I skipped the opening scene to avoid it. BUT on the flip-side people DO things like that to animals everyday and it is nitty and gritty and heart wrenching so the use of such a harrowing and upsetting scene fitted the film.

    I loved Peter Mullan in this. Yes he starts off as a right b*stard but you can't help liking him and warming to him. All I kept thinking was 'I hope he gets the girl' because I sensed such chemistry between him and Olivia's character. They worked so well together. The two contrasts of characters: the drunken down and out versus the charity shop working religious caring person but both living very similar lives both alcohol ridden and laced with trauma. Perfect!

    I'd read, before watching this, that it was a depressing film and long winded and hard to watch. Nonsense.

    It's very good indeed. Well done Paddy. Thank you for this film and hope there is going to be loads more to come from you.
  • If you can make it through the first few (difficult) minutes of Tyrannosaur, I think you can make it through the entire film ... here is to hoping you can as it is a very good one.

    First time feature director Paddy Considine (an actor in Red Riding, In America, Cinderella Man ) makes an impressive and solid directorial debut about tortured and abused souls starring relative-unknowns (although for NOT much longer) Peter Mullan (Braveheart, War Horse, Red Riding) and Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz, The Iron Lady, Hyde Park on Hudson) as (him -- Joseph) an abusive, mean drunk and (her -- Hannah) a saintly consignment store owner. At a relatively short 92-minutes, Tyrannosaur packs both a literal and figurative punch. Although it is short in length it is NOT slight in subject matter -- as it is grim, austere, dark and disturbing at times but ultimately uplifting (and therefore a rewarding watch).

    The film begins after a particularly rough night for Joseph (he is brutally beaten over some verbal sparrings and provoking antics) when he stumbles upon Hannah as she is opening her store one morning. The pious and kind Hannah opens her doors, arms and heart to the broken man although he isn't sure if he wants to take any of her kindness or charity and he makes this fully known (he has his reasons).

    The film takes some twists and a few unexpected turns; but these two stay true to their conflicted characters as it becomes a tale of morality, faith and devotion (and not how one might expect). Soon after the pair meet, the tables are turned and Hannah seeks out Joseph for some much-needed help/support on her side. These characters are highly flawed (but well written -- don't misread that -- as this is what makes Tyrannosaur stand out for good reason) in search of someone else who might value them as "something". There is a searching, a longing, a desire, a grasp, a yearning (or) a hunger present in THESE characters that is not commonly found in film today. These two simply have an URGE to be valued (flaws-and-all) by a fellow human being!

    I will (safely ?) bet that the majority of us are not as flawed as either Joseph or Hannah but their NEED should resonate with us all! These two destructive personalities find solace in one another; but they initially do not know what to make of the other and the film plays out their developing relationship. This is a particularly good watch although it is a tough one -- and I am glad to recommend it as I also see it as an important one.
  • There is something about watching this very dark, brutal, intense, deeply sad, and yet profoundly compelling movie that seeps into the psyche, making future night walks rather fearsome. Paddy Considine who can bring us such warmly lovable characters on the screen as an actor here write and directs a story that pleads for us to look at just how low people can go - and still survive. It is shocking to watch but once the film begins the power of the story and the brilliance of the actors who bring it to life it is impossible to pause for breath.

    Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a grizzled, isolated, drunk widower whose anger at the world is so close to the surface that he lashes out at the slightest provocation - even to the point of brutally killing his own beloved dog at the opening of the film - a fact that makes the audience loathe him form the start. He lives alone, occasionally visits his only friend who is dying from cancer, and ha a connection with a kid across form his flat, a young boy Sam (Sammuel Bottomley) who is forced to sit out on the sidewalk while his mother (Sian Breckin) cavorts with her current boyfriend (Paul Popplewell) who keeps his pitbull dog close by. In a matter of a few days Joseph has not only beaten his dog to death, but he has also crushed the windows of the Paskistani bank where he abuses the owners, and in a pub pool hall he severely beats three mouthy boys who taunt him.

    Having no place to hide Joseph walks into a charity second hand store run by Hannah (Olivia Colman),a seemingly evangelical church woman who takes pity on Joseph and prays for him despite the fact that Joseph is atheistic. As the story unfolds we discover that Hannah is also a profoundly sad woman, her smarmy husband James (Edie Marsan) is abusive: Hannah is afraid of him and turns to drinking to escape her loathing of James. James spies Hannah with Joseph, threatens her, and rapes her, urinates on her, and destroys her organs with broken glass so that she is sterile. Hannah attempts to leave James, gets drunk, is beaten more, and finally ends up with Joseph as her only friend and Gilead. When Hannah and Joseph seem equally at risk of violence, inflicted on self or by others, events become tense and suspenseful, and desperate though the characters are, we care about them and wonder what will happen between Hannah and Joseph when she leaves James for the drunken widower as the safer bet. Once the playing field is even between Joseph and Hannah things change and we realize how desperately at the bottom of the pit they are. What happens form that point most be seen afresh to appreciate the ending.

    There is some comic relief provided Joseph's drinking scraggly-haired drinking partner Tommy (Ned Dennehy) and some songs and dancing at the funeral when Joseph's friend dies, but the overall film is bleak and in the hands of lesser actors than Peter Mullen and Olivia Colman it may not have worked. But Considine's writing and direction along with the brilliant performances of these tow actors produces a film that is one of the finest of the year. This is cinema at its darkest and we should see films like this to realign our own perspectives about how life can be severely difficult. Grady Harp, April 12
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