MR NICE: DVD
During the mid 1980s, Howard Marks (Rhys Ifans) had forty-three aliases, eighty-nine phone lines, and twenty five companies trading throughout the world. Bars, recording studios, offshore banks: all were money-laundering vehicles serving the core activity - dope dealing. At the height of his career, he was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons from Pakistan and Thailand to America and Canada and had contact with organizations as diverse as the CIA, MI6, the IRA, and the Mafia.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Smartly focusing on the core story, Bernard Rose tells a gripping bio of a Welshman who was thrust into crime and became a major player across borders. Rhys Ifans is wonderful as Howard Marks, an ordinary sort of guy with all the weaknesses and failings that we are familiar with. Rose presents him as a happy go lucky character, simply allowing fate to intervene on his behalf.
The story of his exploits expands as the film progresses, and there is a curiously surreal sensibility to the film, as if it, too, was high on hash. The complexity of Marks' life and the details of his scams are left to our imagination. Rose wants to tell a character story, one of survival and of ridiculous, crazy reality. You couldn't invent some of the things that happen to Marks, one of whose most memorably alias names was Mr Nice.
The story of how that name came about is a highlight but it's not the only one.
All performances are standouts, from Chloe Sevigny as his wife and mother to his children, to Spanish actor Luis Tosar as the digged cop determined to track him down and put him in court.
Although most of the film is carried by a boisterous tone, there are a couple of dense, dark moments towards the end when we see how it all ended in tears. But typically, Marks bounces back.
Mr Nice reminds me why biographies are my favourite movie genre.
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MR NICE: DVD (MA15+)
CAST: Rhys Ifans, Chloe Sevigny, David Thewlis, Elsa Pataky, Crispin Glover, Andrew Tiernan, Luis Tosar, Christian McKay, Jamie Harris,
PRODUCER: Luc Roeg
DIRECTOR: Bernard Rose
SCRIPT: Bernard Rose
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Bernard Rose
EDITOR: Teresa Font, Bernard Rose
MUSIC: Philip Glass
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Max Gottlieb
RUNNING TIME: 121 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16:9; DTS 5.1
SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast & crew interviews; The Making of; deleted scenes; Howard Marks interview
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Eagle Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: December 14, 2011
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.