Thursday, 1 May 2014
Everything is a film that is now already ten years old, which took me by surprise watching it post midnight last night (or this morning, whatever) as I presumed it was more recent - which is why it has been in my 'to watch' since it was on BBC2 last year, as some of Ray Winstone's most recent offerings have been largely lifeless stereotypical affairs. I certainly liked this one, there's not a shadow of Ray's 'BetFred' or whatever it is persona, he plays a mostly inarticulate, vulnerable and hesitant bear of a man who begins visiting a Soho prostitute, played by Jan Graveson, with a strange agenda that consists of seemingly just wanting to talk and ask questions about her profession.
It's a low budget, small affair (shot in nine days for £47,500) as evinced by the majority of the films scenes being ostensibly a two hander between Ray and Jan. When it does open out to include other characters they're very small, and one is played by Ray's own daughter Lois, lending to the intimate proceedings.
Jan Graveson is an actress who really made an impact on the wee me way back in the early 90s when she was, for a time, a recurring in character in EastEnders playing Disa, a runaway living on the streets and selling her body. Just like then she's excellent here, carrying the brunt of the dialogue heavy material in the interplay between her and Winstone. It's a brave performance too which requires the then 39/40 year old actress to strip off and pose for Winstone's character, but it's written and performed in such a manner that it is Graveson who has the power and the upper hand, and her strength and bravery radiates throughout the scene. It's a remarkable turn and it's a terrible shame she isn't as well known as she should be.
Like I say, I put this film on late last night with little expectation or information regarding the piece. Ultimately I was so engrossed in this captivating production with its drip drip drip approach that I never once found myself trying to guess the outcome - either through tiredness or just a simple 'blind' agreement to allow the film to take me wherever - to such an extant that the eventual motivation behind Winstone's visits were a complete surprise to me and very satisfying. If I had any criticism, and it is very minor, it's that the secondary plots for the supporting characters - such as Winstone's wife and, most especially Katherine Clisby as Tania, a young Eastern European prostitute - don't really go anywhere and seem to exist purely to break the two hander scenes up and explore the ramifications of the sex industry.
Lastly, where else are you going to watch a film whose closing titles feature Ray Winstone singing a suitably tender rendition of Blur's Tender?!