Director: Paddy Considine (2011)
Starring: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan
Find it: IMDB

Not a film about my favourite dinosaur. Not at all. Tyrannosaur is a grim and gritty British film about angry people and miserable people being angry and miserable. It opens with the main character kicking his pet dog to death. That we eventually come to care for Joseph (Mullan) is a testament to the script, direction and powerhouse performances.

Drunk and angry (usually at the same time) Joseph happens across Hannah (Colman) who works in a local charity shop. They bond as Joseph snarls loathsome sweet nothings at her over a cup of tea. Hannah's life is less than dandy. A battered housewife, she lives in fear of husband James (Marsan). When he learns of her burgeoning friendship with Joseph, it becomes evident that things are building to a violent head. To be sure, there will be misery.

It's a film made up of awkward lengths of time between hugs. There's a moment when Hannah begs Joseph to hold her. During the time it takes, I felt like kicking the screen in and climbing inside the TV to do it myself. And I have a flat-screen; that shit ain't easy. When you're not wishing the characters would shut up and just hug one another, you're waiting for them to apologise. Joseph goes around saying and doing some awfully cunty things. Never mind dinosaurs, Tyrannosaur is one big game of apologetic chicken. As a tale of redemption, it makes the viewer squint extra hard for those slivers of hope. It's almost too grim at times, occasionally taking itself a little too seriously. Like his character in Dead Man's Shoes, there's a feeling that director Paddy Considine could afford to lighten up a little.

It's an incredibly powerful, emotive piece of British cinema, delivering doom and gloom in a manner that us Brits seem to excel at. No dinosaur, though.

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