Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nil by Mouth (1997, Gary Oldman)

I've been reviewing a lot of horror films lately, what with Halloween passing and whatnot. Nil by Mouth is no exception. Though you won't find it on the shelf at Blockbuster squished between Night of the Living Dead and Nosferatu, this film can easily be called Horrific.

Nil by Mouth follows Ray, a drug/alcohol abuser, father, wife beater (among other things) with a mouth like a poopy toilet. Seriously folks, according to IMDB, the word "fuck" and its variations are used 522 times, an average of 4.25 times per minute in this movie. Ray lives with and abuses his pregnant wife Val and lives next door to Val's drug addicted younger brother Billy and mother. The day to day life of these working class folks is depressing and appalling, from the violence, debauchery and worst of all, denial. Will the family be able to stay together or will it continue to spiral out of control?

Nil by Mouth is one of the most depressing films I have ever seen. Gary Oldman, in his writing/directing debut, paints a horrendous portrait of a dysfunctional family about to self destruct. Ray Winstone (my new favorite actor) is so believable in this role that you just want to up and smack him. The whole cast is great and the film's darkness really lends to the story. Definitely not a "feel good"movie, but just fascinating nonetheless.


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