Friday, 12 October 2007

At the end of Death at a Funeral the entire audience was roaring, watching Uncle Alfie (Peter Vaughan) straddling the roof naked. He had earlier had to take a shit, splattering Howard (Andy Nyman) in the process. This is after the dwarf broke out of the coffin, insane with a potent mixture of mescaline and acid.

The drugs originated with Troy (Kris Marshall, pic), the brother of Martha (Daisy Donovan, pic), who is "studying to be a pharmacist and making illegal drugs on the side" according to the Wikipedia article on the movie. Marshall is most famous for his role as Nick Harper in the 'sitcom' My Family which was launched in 2000 but ran here in Australia until very recently. A great fave of mine, it is.

In fact, the number of actors here coming out of good, solid TV roles is surprising. Apart from Marshall, there's the 'star' of this film, Matthew Macfadyen, known for his work on the top-flight British spy series, Spooks. And his "his wife and former Spooks co-star", according to Helen Barlow, plays Jane, Daniel's wife.

For my money, though, and despite Keely Hawes' gorgeous dial, Donovan is the woman who adds most to this flic. Her strained looks -- at her boyfriend, her father, and Justin (Ewen Bremner; who is "only coming to the funeral to meet with his one night stand") -- almost see her eyes popping out of her head. But what eyes!

Moving onto what the film is 'about', we must note the classic British preoccupation with appearance. Even the house, which is situated in the countryside, possibly in the south-east, with its bland wallpapers, muted colour scheme, perfectly-aligned hung prints, and flowering wisteria, bespeaks 'respectability'. The parson, like the rest, will eventually go a little gaga.

Of course there's a message, but it's the roar of satisfied laughter that closed my session that I'll remember. Audience reaction is not all that common in my usual cinemas (the last time was the burst of applause at the end of Die Hard 4).

On the way out I noted the poster for Atonement, labelled 'coming soon'.

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