The Lawless Heart
- Film Worth:$10.50
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After their 1996 debut Boyfriends, which might be crudely described as Gays Go Country, writer-director...
After their 1996 debut Boyfriends, which might be crudely described as Gays Go Country, writer-director partnership Tom Hunsinger and Neil Hunter return with a wonderful sophomore effort, the melodramatic title of which is no harbinger of what's to come.
The centre of Heart's universe is a dead man, Stuart, whose wake has a magnetic attraction for the people in his life. They're like hunks of matter drawn to infinite density point and, quite naturally, when they get there they explode. Told through three different perspectives, the first belongs to happily married Dan (Bill Nighy - a standout), contemplating a first infidelity with Corinne (Clémentine Célarié), whose fleshy language and unabashed hedonism knock him out. Not only does Dan balk at feelings of guilt arising from a possible indiscretion, he begins to wonder why he has been playing it safe for so long.
The bereaved lover of Stuart, restaurateur Nick (Tom Hollander), meanwhile feels a prickle that is altogether new to him - he is swooning for a woman, and an unsophisticated check-out chick at that. Meanwhile, cousin Tim (Douglas Henshall) finds electricity with a woman whose past would make many blush.
Lawless Heart hardly heralds a groundbreaking story, but is so completely unencumbered by artifice (even with that multiple storyteller conceit) that it will leave you in a state of exultation. While other micro-budget films resort to dreamy atmospherics and camera gazing to paper the cracks, here the serene cinematography feels a natural fit, as does the twinkling score. With its sly humour and wry sense of play, Lawless Heart cuts the figure of a beautiful miniature.