Renowned actor Paddy Considine’s first feature behind the camera is a tour de force propelled by the sheer intensity of its performances and storytelling.
Joseph (Peter Mullan), a tormented, self-destructive man plagued by violence, finds hope of redemption in Hannah (Olivia Colman), a Christian charity-shop worker he meets one day while fleeing an altercation. Initially derisive of her faith and presumed idyllic existence, Joseph nonetheless returns to the shop and soon realizes that Hannah’s life is anything but placid. As a relationship develops, they come to understand the deep pain in each other’s lives.
An unconventional love story, Tyrannosaur transcends its bleak circumstances through Joseph and Hannah’s vigorous impulse toward redemption. Shouldering the weight of burdened lives with great humanity and a deep understanding of our capacity to heal, Mullan and Colman deliver two of the most outstanding performances of the year. Considine’s portrait of these two lost souls, bloody but unbowed, is a devastating and profoundly beautiful experience [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival].
Director: Paddy Considine
Screenwriter: Paddy Considine
CastL Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan
Producer: Diarmid Scrimshaw
Composer: Chris Baldwin, Dan Baker
Cinematographer: Erik Wilson
Editor: Pia di Ciaula
Production Designer: Simon Rogers
Sound Designer: Greg Marshall
Responses courtesy of "Tyrannosaur" director Paddy Considine
Considine on what lured him to become a filmmaker...
Like most people, a love of movies. I think above anything else I was always intrigued with storytelling. I had contributed ideas to other peoples movies and decided it was time to use my own voice.
On what prompted the idea for the film and how did that evolve...
It evolved from numerous sources. But mainly it's about my interpretation of life, and trying to function as a human.
On his approach to making the film...
Simple approach. Just tell the story as honestly as you can. No tricks, no devices. Before I turned over on this people expected kitchen sink business, improvisations and documentary camera work. I wanted to make cinema. The documentary approach has been bastardised too much over the years.
On his biggest challenges in developing the project...
Getting the money. The script was written, the cast were on board, the biggest struggle was the money. The fact that we didn't have a lot of money meant that we were left alone. People took a leap of faith, but it wasn't such a huge gamble. If it failed, then there wasn't a huge amount lost. We just embraced what we had. We were sort of unstoppable. I don't think anything could've stopped the momentum. That's hugely owed to a crew that were invested in this project as much as myself and the actors.
On interesting anecdotes from the set...
There were numerous happy accidents that happened during the shoot. A lot of inspiration came from embracing the community of Seacroft Estate where we shot. The busker in the wake scene we picked up off the street. He was harassing the crew and I pulled him in and got him to improvise a song on the spot. He just piled into it, so I got him in the movie. All the extras were from the estate. They just joined in the process and the film is more authentic because of them.
On how he thinks Sundance audiences will take to the film?...
Honestly, I have no idea. I've made the film... It's my heart and soul in there. I could be precious about it all, but it's time to hand it over.
On films that he considers inspirational as he made the film...
Too many! 'Rocky,' 'Cuckoo's Nest'... Clint Eastwood for his beautiful simplicity. Inspiration comes from all over the shop. The most important thing was I knew without hesitation the type of film I DIDN'T want to make.
I have two books that I am adapting, but first I am writing a script called The Leaning. It's a ghost story. It's about secrets and legacies and how the dead come to terms with their sins.