Only God Forgives – Where To Start with Nicolas Winding Refn…
Only God Forgives, the bizarre, cold, brutally violent and oddly enchanting thriller, which stars Ryan Gosling, Kristen Scott Thomas and a terrifying Thai actor named Vithaya Pansringarm, was one of the summer’s strangest hits. It drops on DVD on Monday (December 2) and may well find its way into quite a few Christmas present piles.
The film is directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, who previously worked with Gosling on 2009’s coolest film Drive and is set in a seedy Thai town riddled with corruption and violence.
Danish director Winding Refn is now one of Hollywood’s most sought after auteurs, he was linked with the new James Bond film and is also attached to a remake of the classic dystopian thriller Logan’s Run.
Now aged 43, Winding Refn’s career dates back far beyond Drive, so if you’re new to his work, then let us educate you a bit. Here’s where to start with Nicolas Winding Refn…
Recently remade (not very well, but remade nonetheless), this gritty and gripping tale of a drug pusher who battles to settle his large debt to a ruthless drug lord has become a complete cult classic. Spawning two sequels (Pusher II and Pusher III, keeping it simple), the film’s look at the grimy underworld of Copenhagen remains a captivating watch.
This looks like a sword and shields epic, but it’s actually a far more intimate film. Telling the story of a mute warrior named One-Eye (played by Casino Royale villain Mads Mikkelsen) and his journey with a slave boy after they set off on a crusade, but find themselves somewhere else entirely…
For many this is harrowing yet occasionally hilarious biopic of the UK’s most notorious prisoner Charles Bronson is actor Tom Hardy’s greatest performance to date.
Hardy gained 3 stone in muscle for the role, doing 2500 press-ups a day for five weeks in the process and met up with Bronson numerous times before filming begun.
The film shows Winding Refn’s love of blending the comic with the brutally violent with Hardy providing humorous narration between scenes. It’s uncompromising and very very good.
This is only for the absolute completists. A box-office flop which sent Winding Refn’s company Jang Go Star productions into bankruptcy.
Starring John Turturro as a security guard investigating the strange circumstances around his wife’s death, this film is a little half-baked in plot terms, but an interesting watch nonetheless.
Miss Marple: Nemesis
Yeah, that’s right, back in 2007 the director best known for brutal violence and icy cool dialogue directed a TV movie featuring Agatha Christie’s most famous creation. Why? In his own words ‘I really needed the money’.
Only God Forgives is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday (December 2).