After retuning my DVR, I discovered that I can now receive the Film4 channel, which theoretically means that I should be able to watch a lot more cool and interesting films for free… though, so far, I haven’t seen anything that’s really got my blood pumping. This week’s near miss was the crime-thriller Layer Cake (2004), which often gets packaged alongside Guy Ritchie’s mockney gangster flicks, due to its similar milieu, and the fact it’s directed by Ritchie’s long-time producer, Matthew Vaughn. But this script is sadly lacking in the kind of colourful characters, cartoon-y comedy and time-line trickery that might take the curse off its convoluted plotting, seamy nihilism, and “f*ck you!” ending. Feh.
Nonetheless, it did have one rather awesome ace up its blood-stained sleeve… the casting of Sally Hawkins as a mouthy, machine-gun-wielding moll named “Slasher”! After seeing her play so many sweethearts in the past, it’s quite jarring to see her slumming it as the twitchy, fake-tanned girlfriend of a “Del Boy”-esque drug-dealer… but she brings her trademark energy and enthusiasm to the role, and proves the old adage that there are no small parts, only small actresses. Even at that relatively early stage in her film career, she was busting at the seams with raw talent and screen presence, and it’s no surprise that she’s since gone on to bigger and better things (as has Vaughn, to be fair).