Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dirty Pretty Things

Netflix sez...
2002 R 92 minutes
Undocumented immigrants Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Senay (Audrey Tautou) work at a posh London hotel and live in constant fear of deportation. One night, Okwe stumbles across evidence of a bizarre murder, setting off a series of events that could lead to disaster -- or freedom. This gritty, complex thriller from director Stephen Frears received an Oscar nod for its screenplay. Sophie Okonedo and Sergi López co-star.

The 73rd Virgin sez...
Can't believe I missed this when it was in theatres. Chiwetel Ejiofor is perfectly believeable as a kind-hearted Nigerian illegal immigrant with too much going on for his own good. I don't know if Audrey Tatou's Turkish accent filtered through English and French is even close to right, but can't say I cared much. She is remarkable to watch, although I don't think the naked shoulder on the cover art ever shows up in the movie.

Without much exposition the movie shows us a stifling life constantly on guard against being ratted out by predatory employers, and the weird support system that springs up among illegals and others on the fringe. The story is dense and grim, but hopeful enough, I guess. The ending slips a little in that we don't know how Okwe suddenly gets to go home. I have no idea if the central plot device actually happens in England, but it seems plausible. Sergi Lopez as the face of villainy is great. 5 stars out of 5.

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