Bronson (2008)


After the (Y) machine took a festive break, the wheels are again starting to turn. To ring in the New Year, I’m going to be telling you about each of my ten favourite movies. it’s been harder than expected to elucidate my feelings on these films, usually “just watch the damn thing” is more effective than a series of ridiculous superlatives, but here goes. I hope you enjoy!

Like with The Big Lebowski, Bronson ranks as one of my favourite films by the virtue of being what I consider to be the best film of a filmmaker I admire very highly. It was the first Nicolas Winding Refn picture I had seen and it was years prior to the Drive explosion but I was instantly taken aback. In the ensuing years, watching this filmmaker come into prominence and learning more about him and his abilities, I have only become more and more endeared to Bronson.

It’s uneven in tone and far from perfect but it’s cinematically onomatopoeic (if that makes sense) to it’s main character, the astonishingly unhinged Charlie Bronson née Michael Peterson. Through Tom Hardy’s committed, comedic, balletic performance the audience into routing for and loving one of Britain’ most notorious criminals.

It’s in Hardy’s breakout (and yet to be matched) performance that anchors this film as he journeys through surreal experience after surreal experience all tapped through Winding Refn’s severe stylisations. Bronson presents the story as a framing device in a sort of theatre performance, dressing in drag, dancing about and shouting at his audience. It’s bizarre, intelligent and gripping. A framing device as innovative as it’s inventor.

What solidifies this as a favourite film is that it’s not just a brilliant, bewildering, violent, hilarious movie but it’s an independent, brilliant, bewildering, violent, hilarious movie from the very country from which I hail. That can only be a good omen, right?

– Oliver Drew

Ollie sketch91


9 thoughts

  1. I never realized this is Winding Refn’s movie. Normally that’s the sort of thing of which I usually take notice. Hmmm.

    Anyway, I largely agree. Hardy is amazing and the movie is a fascinating portrait of a severely disturbed person. I never rooted for Pwterson, but I marveled at the film’s ingenuity all the same. I don’t love it the way you do, but I do like it.

    Goo review.

    • I think Drive served as his breakout and as such Bronson was largely under looked. It’s a shame but understandable as Drive is a much more palatable film to an average audience.

  2. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!

    P.S. I would have left you many LIKEs but the LIKE buttons for me are not working on blogs whose URL ends in………… 😦

    • You’re always welcome! You can always sign up for email alerts with the widget on the right of the main pain or find us on Twitter at @y_creatives so that you never miss a post. Glad you enjoyed your stay!

  3. Pingback: Bronson (2008) | timneath

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