Audience Review/ Tyrannosaur

A fantastic review of Tyrannosaur from Cornerhouse customer Anthony Joseph Long

When unholy drunk Joseph (Peter Mullan) seeks sanctuary after a string of dismal incidents, he staggers into a local charity shop to find the wide eyed Hannah (Olivia Colman), a devout Christian who asks God to help his dire situation. Before long we learn that it’s Hannah that needs a saviour, trapped in an abusive marriage to disgruntled misogynist James (Eddie Marsan) who keeps a close eye on his wife’s new friendship.

This is Paddy Considine’s directorial debut. If the name doesn’t ring any bells his face might. The last decade has seen him acting for some of contemporary cinema’s heavyweight directors – Jim Sheridan (In America), Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Ultimatum) and Ron Howard (Cinderella Man) to name a few.

If you missed his Hollywood excursions, surely you saw his axe wielding ex-squaddie return to the Midlands to avenge his bullied younger brother in cult-classic Dead Man’s Shoes? One particular use of the C-word in a pool hall might jog your memory. Since co-writing it with director friend Shane Meadows (This Is England), fans have patiently waited to see more of Considine’s own creative muscle.

Tyrannosaur wastes no time introducing its dour setting or players – Mullan’s early flashes of booze filled rage are reminiscent of Ray Winstone’s Nil By Mouth performance. Colman’s ability to express her domestic suffocation with a single expression give you more of her character than most of her lines do, bouncing off Marsan’s cowardly menace husband. At times it’s like you’re watching a play: you’ve seen these characters before, they’ve passed you on the street.

It’s beautifully filmed too: glorious shots of an early morning pupil dilating give it a dreamy feel while in an instant some snappy editing can make the violence feel so real you might have to stifle a gasp.