Sunday Matinee: Sexy Beast

Sexy BeastJonathan Glazer’s latest movie Under the Skin is currently playing at the RPL, in fact today is the last day to see it. Today’s Sunday Matinee looks at Glazer’s first movie from 2000, Sexy Beast.

Glazer had been directing music videos including a couple for Radiohead before he made his first feature film. Sexy Beast is a crime film about retired safe-cracker Ray Winstone who is living in Spain with his wife. He was caught and did time for his last job and so he’s decided he’s done with that life. His new life is great until Ben Kingsley shows up with a job for Winstone. Winstone doesn’t want to do the job which is being set up by London mobster Ian McShane. Kingsley is psychotic and insistent. He won’t take no for an answer. He also has a thing for Winstone’s friend’s wife. Things get ugly but Kingsley finally goes back to London. Except he gets kicked off the plane for smoking and then things get bad.

Kingsley was Oscar nominated for his role in the film. He didn’t win but he’s excellent in this as is the rest of the cast. Glazer would only direct two more movies in the next 14 years. Birth in 2004 about a woman (Nicole Kidman) whose husband has died and after 10 years when she’s about to get married again, a young boy starts to claim that he is the reincarnation of her late husband. It’s an uncomfortable film but that’s nothing compared to Glazer’s latest, Under the Skin. I think prairie dog reviewer Jorge Ignacio Castillo sums up the movie best.

In what seems to be becoming the standard for the big studios, Sexy Beast was not released on Blu-ray by the studio that owns it, Fox. Instead Twilight Time released the film last year on Blu-ray limited to only 3000 copies. Birth on the other hand is only available on DVD. Under the Skin is out on DVD and Blu-ray July 15th.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.

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