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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > British > Mister Foe (2008/Magnolia DVD)

Mister Foe (2008/Magnolia DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Film: B-



Showing he is not just a one-trick actor, Jamie Bell is growing up and out of his childhood breakthrough roles and into work that is challenging and shows he is more ambitious than most actors of his or any generation currently.  David Mackenzie’s Mister Foe (2008) has him playing the title character who has a broken home that is broken more when his mother suddenly dies.  His father takes up with another woman (Claire Forlani in a thankless role) and he runs away to find another life.


It is not easy, but he lands a job as a dishwasher and starts to get involved with the woman (Sophia Miles) who reminds him of his mother.  From there, he gets involved in entirely new endeavors and as a constant voyeur, mixes up his situation all the more.  I was surprised how good this was and up to the end, it held up, though I wanted it to go on longer, but budget restrictions did not help and it is a better 96 minutes than most of what I have sat through this year.


The acting, directing, script and locations mesh nicely together and Bell is getting better as an actor, though he was always a natural.  This can be graphic in nature, but is no thriller of any kind, despite what the box art might suggest, though it is not some outright laughfest.  Instead it is intelligent filmmaking and is recommended.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is softer and more detail-challenged than I wanted it to be, but Director of Photography Giles Nuttgens does a fine job of shooting everything, which makes an involving film all the more so.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is not much different from the Dolby 2.0, but this is nicely recorded just the same and for a dialogue-based film has some good surround uses, while the use of songs is a plus.  Extras include deleted scenes and a behind the scenes program.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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