Fall Movies: “Brighton Rock” Preview

Since self has seen more than a few indie films at Palo Alto’s Aquarius, this summer, she’s also managed to view a number of previews. And one of the previews that seemed very interesting was the adaptation of Graham Greene’s bleak novel, Brighton Rock.

The male lead had precisely the kind of round baby-face that shrieks KILLER! (At least, it does in movies). And the female lead, a woman named Rose (which is a name self likes exceedingly, and which she used for a main character in nascent novel that is still bumbling around in search of an ending), seemed appropriately naive. And then there’s Helen Mirren playing a determined investigator. Self can never shy away from any movie that features Helen Mirren as an investigator!

So, this evening, quite spent after a whole afternoon of wandering around the Palo Alto Art & Craft Festival (in which self noticed a number of lissome young women parading around in very looong sundresses, and looking great), self resumes browsing last Friday’s New York Times. And, what do you know, there is a review by Stephen Holden of “Brighton Rock”! And this is what he says:

A nighttime image of the sea crinkling like a black plastic garbage bag sets the bleak tone of “Brighton Rock,” Rowan Joffe’s pungent adaptation of Graham Greene’s classic crime novel from the late 1930s. If you strip away the book’s Roman Catholicism, which the movie mostly does, its story fits right into the nihilistic mood of today.

The film’s dual portraits of Pinkie (Sam Riley), a 17-year-old sociopath, and Rose (Andrea Riseborough), the slavish little mouse of a waitress who abjectly loves him, are part of this second screen adaptation of the novel; the first was a well-regarded 1947 movie directed by John Boulting and starring the young Richard Attenborough.

Pinkie and Rose are among the most pitiable couples in modern literature, and Mr. Joffe’s chilly film doesn’t sentimentalize their relationship, except for a crucial touch at the end.

And perhaps self had better stop posting here, for the next part contains a definite spoiler.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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