So tonight I’ve had two minor brushes with fame. I decided to go and see Layer Cake at the Odeon Marble Arch but arrived a little early. And while waiting for the theatre to open, I suddenly heard Drop The Dead Donkey star (and somewhat early nineties crush of mine) Neil Pearson barking into a mobile phone, “Well it’s been slammed by the press but the box office is huge”. I have no idea what he was talking about since he doesn’t appear to have been in a film for a while, but hey. If you’re interested, he went to see Saw (IMDB rating 7.3 – not bad).
And while still reeling from this little piece of celebrity spotting fun-gossip stuff, when Layer cake finally started it didn’t take long for me to start recognising little parts of London – particularly our gangster hero’s West London den, which it turns out is just at the end of my road. I pass it on the way to get the tube into work. Unless I get the bus. If I get a chance I’ll take a picture tomorrow so that you film buffs can get all excited by it when you see the movie. This is the second weird “check out where I live” moment that I’ve had in the last couple of days. The other one being this pic on Esther Dyson’s Flickr Photostream which turns the map of my area into a cool Union Jack. I live on the top left of that picture. Mr Layer Cake Gangster bod works at the bottom left.
Which leads me to the film itself. The plot’s pretty generic gangster – small-time-ish crook gets in the middle of some larger intrigue and tries to get out of it by being smart and canny – but it’s assembled carefully, paced pretty well and doesn’t look cheap. It’s got a few stylised bits in it, but essentially it’s a good old-fashioned gangster film that doesn’t try and be too clever with the format. It’s pretty well-acted, pretty exciting, the women are pretty much breasts with legs or nagging psychos but then you could say Daniel Craig is pretty much breasts with legs as well and you won’t see me complaining. London looks great and I pretty much enjoyed myself. Not a stunner, but a good way to spend a couple of hours…
Addendum Looks like (from the comments and from this link that Neil was talking about his role in the Kevin Spacey-directed Cloaca, currently showing at London’s Old Vic. It is indeed true that the press are not keen.