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Tyrannosaur Film Review

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Recovering Sinner Returns Favor for Guardian Angel in Raw, Redemption Drama

Tyrannosaur is a raw redemption drama revolving around a rather unusual triangle. Joseph (Peter Mullan) is a widowed, unemployed alcoholic with some serious anger management issues. If he weren't so totally out of sorts, he probably would have thanked his lucky stars the day that Hannah (Olivia Colman) found him sprawled in a stupor outside of her second-hand clothing store.

For as a Born Again Christian, she sees it almost as her calling to minister to the needs of the least of her brethren. So, she not only brought him into the charity shop to clean him up a bit, but she even dropped to her knees to pray for his recovery.

Serving as Joseph's self-appointed Guardian Angel, Hannah proceeds to do her best to bring the wayward sinner back onto the straight and narrow path. He only grudgingly goes along with the arrangement, not knowing exactly what to make of the kindly stranger.

What Joe doesn't know, at least initially, is that behind the serene exterior Hannah is dealing with her own demon in the person of a physically and emotionally abusive husband (Eddie Marsan). Then James drops in to visit his wife at work unannounced one afternoon, finding her alone with Joseph. Mistakenly presuming them to be lovers, he beats her mercilessly when she returns home that evening.

The next morning, after Joe sees Hannah's black eye and bruises, it is only natural for him to want defend her honor by playing knight in shining armor. After all, he's already a violent-prone, macho thug given to picking fights in pubs and killing dogs for kicks.

Set in Leeds, Tyrannosaur marks the auspicious directorial debut of actor Paddy Considine, who is perhaps best known for playing the father in In America. Here, he exhibits considerable potential on the other side of the camera, spinning a relentlessly-grim yarn around a trio of tragically flawed individuals slowly being swallowed whole by the emotional quicksand of a blue-collar wasteland where there really aren't any winners.

Salvation and redemption by way of a black eye for a black eye, and a chipped tooth for a chipped tooth!

Very Good (3 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 91 Minutes

Distributor: Strand Releasing

To see a trailer for Tyrannosaur:

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze.

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