Filth (2013)

A grimy, debauched, cynical British comedy/drama showcase for James McAvoy. H

e’s excellent in this, and absolutely the reason for watching. He finds the interesting notes to play in a character dangerously close to being a caricature at times, and his performance sells a reveal that would feel very, very cheap in the hands of a less skilled actor.

The script does little to dig into what interesting material there is here, so it’s up to the actors to find the grace notes. While the supporting cast is strong (Eddie Marsan in particular), none really rise above their characters except McAvoy.

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A lot of the film feels forced, there’s a lot of tonal confusion (not in a way that feels intentional), and without McAvoy it might have been a true mess, but really, the reason to watch the film is for McAvoy, and he’s great enough here to make it worth the while. I give it two and a half promotions, and a photocopier.

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