The Disappearance of Alice Creed(2009)
In this British thriller, two men (Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston) meticulously prepare a small flat for the kidnapping of a young woman (Gemma Arterton, Prince of Persia). She is Alice Creed, daughter of a rich businessman. The plan is to tie her to the bed, hold her hostage and demanding a whopping ransom. But Alice isn't about to let her captors use her as capital without a fight.
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BY Matt Glasby Flicks Writer
Splicing the extreme in with the everyday, the best British crime flicks (Dead Man’s Shoes, London To Brighton, Red Road) are as comfortable with cups of tea and mundane conversations as they are with car chases. From its ominous start, in which kidnappers Eddie Marsan and Martin Compston wordlessly purchase the tools of their new trade – saws, soundproofing, a drill – we’re clearly in safe cinematic hands. Just as the pair turn an ordinary flat into a cell for Arterton’s traumatised heiress, first-time writer/director Blakeson twists this kitchen-sink setting into an excellent little thriller.
Staying just the right side of sadistic, so we need to know what happens while praying that it won’t, the film escalates in a series of Pinter-ish power struggles, mainly between the naïve Compston, his mentor and his captive, none of whom are quite what they appear. Though we’ve trod this ground a few times before, the cast provide an acting masterclass – particularly the previously unheralded Compston – and Blakeson shoots his whipsmart script with flair and composure. One shot frames Compston through a microwave door as a ready-meal spins prosaically in the foreground, a witty visualisation of that drab/dramatic dynamic and a reminder of the trap he has set for himself.
Although it unravels a little in its later stages, this is one of the best and most confident British debuts since the thematically similar Shallow Grave – directed, lest we forget, by the Oscar-winning Danny Boyle. Tense, terse and beautifully crafted, it plays out with all the dread of a deadbolt hammering, inevitably, home.
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The Disappearance of Alice Creed
BY 100WordReviews superstar
This movie was a change from the norm... You leave the movie after 2 hours and you have forgotten it was a two room set (that is a rather genius undertaking). I'm not sure it is for everyone as most write ups about this movie give the impression it is a bit of a comedy of errors when it is more of a dark tale of irony.... there are no laughs and the word 'Tale' I have included for a reason.
BY D-F-Stuckey superstar
Eddie Marsan makes you wonder why he has been... More a second-string actor for so long, as his professional villain with a dream job brings menace and a little humour to the story, while Gemma Arterton shows just how underutilised her skills have been in such films as DEAL OR NO DEAL or PRINCE OF PERSIA; Martin Compston does the conflicted younger crim to perfection and his frustrations and troubles carrying out his part of the plans is beautifully played.
This is the sort of film that should be seen by more people than it currently will be, but hopefully enough people will see it to start a word-of-mouth to encourage the makers to do this again - Make a practically perfect film.Hide