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Filth Movie Review

Title: Filth

Director: Jon S. Baird

Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots.

The angelical James McAvoy has put aside his nice-boy image to dive into the skin of an utterly antiheroic character: the corrupt, drug-addicted, bipolar cop  Bruce Robertson.

‘Filth’ embodies the entire nature of the scheming policeman, who is in line for a promotion and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Bruce is enlisted to solve a brutal murder and, threatened by the aspirations of his colleagues, sets on a personal mission to ensure their ruin, right under the nose of unwitting Chief Inspector Toal. As he turns his colleagues against one another, by stealing their wives and exposing their secrets, Bruce starts to lose himself in a web of deceit that he can no longer control. His past is slowly catching up with him: a missing wife, a crippling drug habit and suspicious colleagues start to take their toll on his sanity. The question is: can he keep his grip on reality long enough to disentangle himself from the filth?

Jon S. Baird’s darkly comic adaptation of the cult novel by Scottish author Irvine Welsh proves to be daunting and intimidating, especially for McAvoy’s terrific performance. The rest of the talented British cast (Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots), barely shines of reflected light, as the filthy protagonist takes over the scene, since McAvoy manages to fearlessly embody the utmost despicable character with a pinch of empathy.

‘Filth’ inevitably will be compared to Danny Boyle’s ‘Trainspotting’ and despite its effective excruciating style, Baird doesn’t surpass his predecessor, who made a cinematic milestone setting an unbeatable benchmark.

Technical: B

Acting: C+

Story: C

Overall: C+

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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