Closed Circuit: when the barrister of a high-profile terrorism case dies in an accident, his replacement feels like he’s being forced into a predetermined outcome. Sure it’s all a bit ‘Bourney‘ what with the sweeping conspiracies that twist, turn, and unfold for the duration (some revelations more original than others) – but it’s all done satisfactorily. Shunning the prospect of any sensationalism, it’s got a rather realistic and bureaucratic-based plot, outlook, and no frills directorial style, which lends the movie authenticity: good for believability, but makes it all a wee bit grim, as it is about domestic terrorism, street bombings, and a massively incompetent governmental agency. Eric Bana is on good form, and sounding convincingly London! Rebecca Hall also puts in a good shift, albeit in a rather limited role. Closed Circuit is a competent, but unremarkable big-brother / conspiracy thriller that’s proficient, but doesn’t bring a whole lot of new stuff to the party.
Filth: a detective gunning for promotion is also heading for a breakdown, but how long can he keep his many plates spinning? This is the latest movie adaptation of an Irvine Welsh book, and feels like it’s going for a “Trainspotting for the teenies” angle. It would be silly to complain about the content of a film called Filth, but in case you need a heads-up: it’s crammed with deviant sex & sexuality, drug use, violence, and oodles of fantastically creative swearing, amongst other things. The over-emphasis of the of the craziness going on in Bruce’s mind – hallucinations, binges, sex, porn – don’t really detract from the story, because Bruce’s nose-candy nose-dive IS the story. Despite all the headline-grabbing controversial content crammed into this, the main talking point is undoubtedly James McAvoy’s performance; in an era where leading men no longer required to be likeable or even remotely empathetic, he works wonders with the few tiny slivers of humanity he gets. My biggest concern of the picture however is it’s extremely unflattering – and wholly unrealistic – take on Scotland and it’s culture: if it’s not films about the Loch Ness Monster, it’s about the druggies of Trainspotting, Red Road, NEDS, and now Filth – the Scottish tourist board must really hate our film industry.