For Reel

Dom Hemingway (2013)
April 3, 2014, 12:30 am
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Richard Shepard
2.5 Stars
Dom HemingwayThe opening shot of Dom Hemingway sees a pudgy Jude Law reciting a monologue about the wonders of his penis before it is revealed that he has been receiving fellatio from a fellow prison in-mate. Much of what follows is confrontational in the same vein–Law storms through the picture in an explicit frenzy, challenging the audience’s expectations of the relatively mannered thesp. It’s a fun performance, and it is particularly nice to see Law do something that seems to excite him (he’s largely been wasted in recent years), but the attraction of a wild-mannered Law doesn’t add up to much when there’s hardly a film to contain it. Richard Shepard’s screenplay is paced as a series of vignettes, with the titular antihero tending to get by scot-free while leaving chaos in his wake. Where things go particularly wrong is when Shepard seeks to humanize Dom through an absurd sentimentality that sees him wish to reconnect with his daughter (Emilia Clarke) who has long since decided that she doesn’t want him in her life. When Law turns off the aggression and becomes a sap (met with an overbearingly maudlin score), the mood change is more laughable than it is genuinely revealing. Though this is clearly Law’s showcase, a word should be said for the invaluable Richard E. Grant in a performance that is entirely reactionary. He plays Dom’s old colleague as a calculating, highly intelligent accomplice–there’s is an unlikely friendship, but somehow they have developed a mutual understanding over the years and show genuine affection for one another.

2 Comments so far
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I had such high hopes for this film. Laughably bad second half, I agree, though E.Grant was excellent.

Comment by Movie Quibble

Yeah, loved Grant! I recently caught up on HBO’s Girls, where he has a memorable guest role as a drug addict (several of those episodes are directed by Richard Shepard).

Comment by Eric Fuerst

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