Sexy Beast

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Sexy Beast
Sexy beast ver1.jpg
Original film poster
Directed by Jonathan Glazer
Produced by Jeremy Thomas
Written by Louis Mellis
David Scinto
Starring
Music by Roque Baños
Cinematography Ivan Bird
Edited by John Scott
Sam Sneade, Louis Mellis David Scinto (Uncredited)
Production
company
FilmFour
Kanzaman S.A.
Recorded Picture Company
Jeremy Thomas Productions
Distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release date
  • 13 September 2000 (2000-09-13) (TIFF)
  • 12 January 2001 (2001-01-12) (UK)
  • 8 March 2002 (2002-03-08) (Spain)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Spain
Language English
Budget $4.3 million[1]
Box office $10.2 million[1]

Sexy Beast is a 2000 crime film directed by Jonathan Glazer and written by Louis Mellis and David Scinto. It stars Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley and Ian McShane. It follows Gal Dove (Winstone), an ex-convict visited by an aggressive gangster (Kingsley) who demands he accept a heist job.

Kingsley's performance earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.[2] In 2004 the magazine Total Film named Sexy Beast the 15th greatest British film of all time.

Plot[edit]

Ex-convict Gary "Gal" Dove is happily retired in Spain with his beloved wife DeeDee, best friend Aitch and Aitch's wife Jackie. A boulder falls from a hill, nearly hits him, and lands in his swimming pool, damaging its double-heart insignia. After an unsuccessful rabbit hunt with Aitch and Enrique, a Spanish boy who helps him around the house, Gal has a dream of a demonic rabbit pointing a gun at him.

An old criminal associate, the feared sociopath Don Logan, arrives at Gal's villa, intent on enlisting Gal for a bank robbery in London. Crime lord Teddy Bass learned about the vault from Harry, the bank's chairman, whom he met at an orgy. Gal politely declines, but Logan grows increasingly aggressive and violent. After Gal suggests Logan's real reason for visiting is his infatuation with Jackie, Logan grows furious and demands to be taken to the airport. On the plane, Logan refuses to extinguish his cigarette prior to take-off, is aggressive to staff, and is ejected. He tells the investigator the cabin crew sexually harassed him and is released.

Logan returns to the villa screaming obscenities and attacks Gal with a bottle. Enrique threatens him with a gun, but Logan disarms him. DeeDee shoots Logan with a shotgun and she, Jackie and Gal beat him. When Logan tells Aitch he had sex with Jackie, Aitch hits him with a television set.

In London, Bass asks Gal where Logan is. Gal claims Logan called him from Heathrow Airport. In the morning, Gal has another vision of the demonic rabbit. As Gal eats breakfast, Bass arrives and asks again where Logan is. Gal continues to feign ignorance.

During the heist, Bass's crew use diving gear to drill into Harry's vault from a pool in a neighbouring bath house. The pool water floods the vault and shorts its security system. As the crew empties the vault's safe deposit boxes, Gal secretly pockets a pair of ruby earrings encrusted with diamonds.

After the job, Bass insists on driving Gal to the airport. He stops at Harry's home, where he kills Harry and demands Gal tell him where Logan is. Gal responds that he is "not into this any more". In the car, Bass angrily tells Gal that he does not care about Logan. He pays Gal £10 for the job, giving him a twenty-pound-note and demanding change, then drives away.

Gal returns to his friends and family in Spain, where DeeDee wears the earrings. Gal hears Logan's voice tell him that he knew Gal would do the job; Gal responds that Logan is dead now and can shut up. The demonic rabbit opens a coffin beneath the swimming pool, revealing Logan, who exhales smoke with contempt.

Cast[edit]

  • Ray Winstone as Gary "Gal" Dove, a retired criminal who married DeeDee and moved to Spain to start a new life
  • Ben Kingsley as Don Logan, a violent sociopath, and recruiter for the London underworld
  • Ian McShane as Teddy Bass, a London crime boss
  • Amanda Redman as DeeDee Dove, Gal's beloved wife and a former porn star
  • James Fox as Harry, a banker who shows Bass the vault after having sex with him
  • Cavan Kendall as Aitch, Dove's best friend
  • Julianne White as Jackie, Aitch's wife, who had a fling with Logan
  • Álvaro Monje as Enrique, a Spanish boy who helps Gal around the house

Production[edit]

Producer Jeremy Thomas later remembered his experience making the film:[3]

Sexy Beast was the beginning of a new phase for me of working with first time filmmakers. Jonathan Glazer was a television commercials director in the UK, and a wonderful talent. We were sent this script which he was attached to, and out came this wonderful film. It was very stimulating having a first time talent... The dialogue as you see in this film is exceptional. I had never read a script like it, and I thought, this has got to be made. It was very difficult to get insurance on the film actually. When the American studio bought the film, their legal department said: "You cannot make this." It has something like 300 uses of the word "cunt", and 400 "fucks", but somehow it passed the censorship and got out there.

Reception[edit]

The film has received very positive reviews, currently holding an aggregate rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 129 reviews. The site's critical consensus states, "Sexy Beast rises above other movies in the British gangster genre due to its performances -- particularly an electrifying one by Ben Kingsley -- and the script's attention to character development."[4] Another aggregate review website, Metacritic, has given it a rating of 79%, a rating which classifies the film as receiving "Generally favorable reviews" by the website's rating standards.[5] It received high praise from writers at the San Francisco Chronicle,[6] Entertainment Weekly,[7] Slate,[8] Rolling Stone[9] and the Los Angeles Times,[10] but was panned by Stephen Hunter of the Washington Post who described some of the film's moments as "Ben Kingsley spraying saliva-lubricated variants of the F-word into the atmosphere like anti-aircraft fire for 10 solid minutes."[11] It was also described as "often enjoyable" but "massively uneven" by Variety.[12]

Awards and honours[edit]

Kingsley's performance received a majority of the accolades given to Sexy Beast, winning Best Supporting Actor awards from the Broadcast Film Critics Association, Boston Society of Film Critics, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, Florida Film Critics Circle, San Diego Film Critics Society, Southeastern Film Critics Association and the Toronto Film Critics Association. He also was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award (losing to Ian McKellen for his performance in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring), a Golden Globe and an Academy Award (losing both to Jim Broadbent for his performance in Iris). The film also won Best Director and Best Screenplay from the British Independent Film Awards and Special Recognition ("For excellence in film making") from the National Board of Review.

Music[edit]

Original music by English electronic band South and also Spanish composer/saxophonist Roque Baños. Dean Martin's version of "Sway" accompanies the film's end credits. The soundtrack also includes "Peaches" by The Stranglers, "Cuba" by The Gibson Brothers, "G-Spot" by Wayne Marshall, "Daddy Rollin' Stone" by Derek Martin, and Henry Mancini's "Lujon" (from the 1961 LP "Mr. Lucky Goes Latin").

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sexy Beast (2001) - Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved 7 April 2018. 
  2. ^ "Sir Ben's Sexy honour". BBC News. 31 December 2001. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  3. ^ "Jeremy Thomas - And I'm still a fan". Berlinale Talents. 29 October 2010. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sexy Beast (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Sexy Beast at Metacritic. Accessed 4 February 2008
  6. ^ Wesley, Morris (15 March 2002). "Kingsley a beauty in 'Sexy Beast' / His maniacal sadist adds frenzied edge". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  7. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (22 June 2001). "Sexy Beast (2001)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  8. ^ Edelstein, David (22 June 2001). "They Pull Me Back In". Slate. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  9. ^ Travers, Peter (15 June 2001). "Sexy Beast". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  10. ^ Turan, Kenneth. Sexy Beast: Stylish, but Very Nasty, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2001. Accessed 4 February 2008.
  11. ^ Hunter, Stephen (22 June 2001). "'Sexy Beast': Gandhi Goes Gangsta". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 
  12. ^ Elley, Derek (21 September 2000). "Review: 'Sexy Beast'". Variety. Retrieved 4 February 2008. 

External links[edit]