Jawbone: What You Need To Know
From Rocky to Raging Bull, there has been no shortage of boxing movies over the years, but none in recent memory have been quite so dripping with blood, sweat and gritty realism as Jawbone, which tells the story of a former boxing champion on the long road to redemption after his life hits rock bottom.
Jawbone also features Paul Weller's first ever soundtrack, with the Modfather having provided the film's brooding, atmospheric score. After being released in cinemas earlier this year, the film is due to arrive in stores on Monday (June 5th). Here's everything you need to know...
Who's in it?
Johnny Harris stars as the film's protagonist, the former boxing champ Jimmy McCabe. He's joined by a cast that includes Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, Michael Smiley and Anna Winston-Hall.
And who's behind the camera?
Thomas Napper makes his feature-length directorial debut on this film, having worked as a second until director on films such as Atonement, Pride & Prejudice and Beauty and the Beast. Napper works from a script written by none other than the film's leading man, Johnny Harris.
What's the plot?
The film is set many years after the glory days for Jimmy McCabe, a former boxing champion, whose life has spiralled its way to the very bottom. He's a man in search of hope, but he's looking in all the wrong places and when a self-destructive lifestyle drives a wedge between Jimmy and his family and friends, he's forced to return to his childhood boxing gym for a last shot at redemption.
In desperation, McCabe is forced to take on an unlicensed match against a dangerous young fighter in a battle he is almost certain to lose. His mental focus and his out-of-shape body have been ravaged by years of drinking and he must persuade his old trainer and manager to help him get in shape for the fight before he loses everything.
Does it deliver?
There are plenty of boxing films out there to choose from, but Johnny Harris and Thomas Napper have formed a formidable partnership on Jawbone and if it's realism you want from a film about the sweet science, it doesn't come any more gritty than this. Jawbone drips with sweat, blood and anguish throughout and Harris puts everything on the line with a stellar performance as the film's underdog protagonist.
The supporting cast is also excellent, with Ian McShane and Ray Winstone adding real gravity to the story, and Paul Weller's score only adds to the film's sweat-soaked atmosphere. A must-see for any boxing fan and a contender for one of the best British films this year.
Jawbone is out now on DVD and available here in hmv's online store.