Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Brian Cox breaks out in The Escapist

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2009 at 6:48 PM

click to enlarge BAR KEEPS: Lenny Drake (Joseph Fiennes, left), Frank Perry (Brian Cox), (Brodie) Liam Cunningham, and Viv Batista (Seu Jorge)
  • BAR KEEPS: Lenny Drake (Joseph Fiennes, left), Frank Perry (Brian Cox), (Brodie) Liam Cunningham, and Viv Batista (Seu Jorge)

Scotland’s Brian Cox consistently proves himself to be one of film's best working character actors, although he used to be most famous as a kind of footnote. He played Hannibal Lecter in Michael Mann’s Manhunter in 1986, before Anthony Hopkins took ownership of the part in perpetuity with The Silence of the Lambs. Thanks to such roles as a redeemed pedophile in L.I.E. and a traveling thespian on “Deadwood,” Cox has enjoyed a big-screen resurgence in the past decade.

He reliably steals scenes as bombastic authority figures, but the English prison drama The Escapist confirms that Cox makes an arresting screen subject even while simply thinking and reacting. He anchors The Escapist as desperate lifer Frank Perry, even though he hardly speaks for long stretches, so you don’t know what he’s thinking about or reacting to. His concerns have their own gravity.

Director/co-writer Rupert Wyatt gives the film a twisty structure that matches the labyrinthine underground escape route of its jailbird antiheroes. Continue reading "Brian Cox breaks out in The Escapist"

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