April 4, 2011

Bronson - 2009

Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
Writers: Nicolas Winding Refn & Brock Norman Brock
Starring: Tom Hardy

"How would you feel, waking up in the morning without a window? My window is a steel grid, I 'ave to put my lips against that steel grid and suck in air, that's my morning... 'cause I got no air in my cell. I have to eat, sleep and crap in that room twenty-three hours of a twenty-four hour day. You tell me, what human being deserves that? Apart from the stinking paedophile or a child killer. I don't deserve that, I done nothing on this planet to deserve that." In 1974, a hot-headed 19 year old named Michael Peterson (Hardy) decided he wanted to make a name for himself and so, with a homemade sawn-off shotgun and a head full of dreams he attempted to rob a post office. Swiftly apprehended and originally sentenced to 7 years in jail, Peterson has subsequently been behind bars for 34 years, 30 of which have been spent in solitary confinement. During that time, Michael Petersen, the boy, faded away and 'Charles Bronson," his superstar alter ego, took center stage.

As great as his role in Inception was, it wasn't anywhere close to demonstrating the range that Tom Hardy is capable of. The man can be vicious and scary one moment and hilarious the next, and sometimes both simultaneously. I'd say more, but the film already succeeds solely on merit of Hardy's performance, so to say any more would be superfluous. I wish I had seen this sooner, and the minimal concern I had for his portrayal of Bane in The Dark Knight Rises is utterly gone. A+

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