Tyrannosaur (Paddy Considine)

Impressive directorial debut from Paddy Considine (Dead Man’s Shoes), adapted from his BAFTA winning short Dog Altogether, comes the story of violent widower Joseph (Peter Mullan), who when trying to escape himself meets Hannah (Olivia Colman) in the charity shop where she works.

Hannah has a generous spirit and strong Christian values and Joseph finds solace in her company. However, Hannah has her own demons, in the form of her abusive alcoholic husband James (Eddie Marsan). His mental and physical punishment has Hannah in a trap and it is up to Joseph to save her, as she saved him.

The careful study of abusive relationships allows the audience to understand how draining the mental torture can be and how difficult it becomes to break out of a vicious circle. Violence is always followed whimpering pleas for forgiveness and memories of the loving relationship the couple once shared.

Tyrannosaur turned the whole audience into crumpled heaps of sadness. It was like there was a big black cloud over everyone. But although I found it quite traumatising, I have a strong appreciation for that emotional response and found the demonstration of domestic abuse to be well-captured and conveyed. Paddy’s style is clearly influenced by his work with Shane Meadows over the years but his own style is evident in the character study, which is well-written and well-directed.

Peter Mullan delivered an excellent performance, similar to his turn as Joe in Loach’s My Name is Joe, where alcohol has destroyed his life but he can’t stop hurting himself. Olivia Colman also acted well, in ‘a career-making performance’ says Empire.

I thought it was the best British film of the year and I can’t wait to see what Paddy Considine comes up with next!

Out in cinemas now!

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