|Directed by||Jean-Baptiste Andrea|
|Edited by||Antoine Vareille|
|Music by||Alan Anton|
|Distributed by||Pathé Distribution|
Big Nothing is a 2006 black comedy crime film directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea, starring David Schwimmer, Simon Pegg and Alice Eve. It had its world premiere at the Cardiff Film Festival on 18 November 2006, and was released in the United Kingdom on 1 December 2006.
This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (August 2016)
In a small Oregon town, a brutal serial killer nicknamed the "Oregon undertaker" has been murdering and mutilating young women. Charlie (David Schwimmer) is an ex-teacher who is fired on his first day as a call center employee. His colleague Gus (Simon Pegg) invites him to join a plot to blackmail a reverend, about whose visits to porn websites he has obtained evidence. Teenage pageant queen Josie McBroom (Alice Eve) overhears them planning the scam, and insists on joining the scheme.
The trio call the reverend to demand a blackmail payment. Gus goes to the reverend's house, while Charlie goes to a bar where he plans to set up an alibi for Gus. On telling people at the bar that Gus went to a gas station, he finds that the gas station attendant is in the bar, ruining the alibi. He leaves and hurries to the reverend's house. Finding the body of the reverend there, and no sign of Gus, he disposes of the body in a septic tank. It transpires that the reverend shot Gus in the leg, and Gus knocked him out with a vase, meaning that he was still alive when Charlie put him into the septic tank.
The two discover videos of the reverend torturing and killing a young woman. A deputy policeman then calls at the house in search of the reverend, who he says has been found dead with three gunshot wounds. As the deputy leaves, he discovers drag marks leading to the septic tank. Gus knocks him out with a vase. The reverend's wife arrives, and threatens Gus, Charlie and the deputy with a gun. Josie arrives and attacks her with an axe. The deputy attempts to escape, but while trying to climb through a window, falls and hits his head, killing himself.
Charlie, Gus, and Josie flee the scene. After nearly having a car accident with a fat man, they continue to their disposal point, only to find that one of the bodies is missing. They drive back and hit the Reverend's wife, who had jumped out of the car and was trying to get help. As they look over the body, two police officers arrive, one of them being Charlie's wife, and quickly see the body. Charlie's wife tries to call her deputy, but it goes to voicemail. Josie hurriedly makes up a story, but the three are taken to the station where a special agent is waiting.
Agent Hymes (Jon Polito), the fat man the three almost got into an accident with, examines the body with Gus and Josie. In the waiting room, Charlie finds his sleeping daughter, who could not be left alone at the house and was brought by his wife, and gives her his coat. Charlie, Gus and Josie drive to a tar pit, where they plan to dispose of the bodies, but they find that the special agent has been following them. The agent then reveals that Josie is the Wyoming Widow; a murderer who befriended men and killed them with whiskey laced with highly concentrated thallium. She is found to be carrying a flask of whiskey; she drinks some to prove that it is not poisoned, but the agent escapes during the distraction. While the others search for him, Gus tries to flee with the money, but is caught by the agent, who complains of his lack of payment for what he does. He shoots and kills Gus, and takes the money. In the meantime, Charlie's wife finds the badge of her deputy in her husband's coat, but drives to a bridge and throws it off.
The agent runs to his car, but is surprised by Josie and Charlie. They make him eat a large sugary lollipop, putting him into a diabetic coma. Josie pulls a gun on Charlie and explains that she really is the Wyoming Widow. She gives him the choice of the bullet or the poisoned whiskey (from her second flask). Charlie tells her not to spend all the money in one place, and drinks the whiskey. Josie discover that the bag is filled with nothing but his daughter's stuffed animals as Charlie collapses and dies. At home, Charlie's daughter is seen drawing with marker on some of the hundred dollar bills next to several large stacks of money.
Josie tries to hitch a ride away from Oregon, and finally gets one from an old man. The old man goes to the back to "double-check on something", while Josie takes out the poisoned whiskey. The old man covers a bloody leg with a tarpaulin, and goes back into the truck to drive away with Josie. The last scene reveals a car plate from Oregon at the rear of the truck.
- Simon Pegg as Gus
- David Schwimmer as Charlie
- Alice Eve as Josie
- Natascha McElhone as Penelope
- Mimi Rogers as Mrs. Smalls
- Jon Polito as Agent Hymes
- Sarah Edmondson as Isabella
- Julian Glover as 80-year-old Man
- Amber Sealey as Call center supervisor
- Shauna Shim as Melanie #1
- Laurence Bouvard as Melanie #2
- Colin Stinton as Max
- Mitchell Mullen as Reverend Smalls
- Clair Elsmore as Snuff Movie Victim
- Kenneth Jay as Barman
- William Rosenfeld as Deputy Garman
Production and release
Big Nothing was filmed over thirty-two days in January 2006, and had its world premiere at the Cardiff Film Festival on 18 November 2006. Released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on 1 December 2006, the film had its European market release on 15 March 2007, but was never released in cinemas in America. It was released on DVD on 12 June 2007.
Empire gave the film three out of five stars, commenting that "the tone shift is a little too extreme for mainstream success, but Schwimmer and Pegg provide a solid, blackly comic centre to an original crime caper." The BBC also gave the film three out of five stars, praising Pegg and Schwimmer's performances, particularly noting that Pegg had "reinvented himself" with his role.
Yahoo Movies praised the film, calling it "slick, sharp and smartly underplayed – Big Nothing amounts to quite a bit in the end."
Big Nothing grossed £83,829 in its first weekend in the UK, after release in 101 cinemas.
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- Love of the Loveless – Performed by Eels (Written by Mark Oliver Everett))
- Stabat Mater – Composed by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
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- "Big Nothing (2006)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- "Big Nothing (2006) - IMDb". IMDb.
- "Big Nothing (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
- Helen O'Hara (24 November 2006). "Empire's Big Nothing Movie Review". Empireonline.com. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
- Jamie Russell (25 November 2006). "Movies - review - Big Nothing". BBC. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Big Nothing Review". 2006. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012.