Tyrannosaur centres on the unlikely friendship between two disparate characters whose lives are both marred by violence.  Hannah is a Christian charity shop worker with a troubled home life, and Joseph is an unemployed widower with a short temper.  They shouldn’t have much in common, but they’re both kind of lost and lonely, and desperate and I know that doesn’t really tell you much, and it probably doesn’t sound all that exciting, but trust me, this is must-see stuff.


The wonderful Olivia Colman

It’s beautifully directed by Paddy Considine, whom you may have seen in front of the camera in, among other things, the truly gut-wrenching Dead Man’s Shoes, or the bitter-sweet In America.  Amazingly, this was the first feature film he’s directed, and I really hope it won’t be his last.

Tyrannosaur is sympathetic in how it deals with its difficult subject matter, while never shying away from the brutality of it.  This is gritty realism at its grittiest and best.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Tyrannosaur though, is the flawless performance by Olivia Colman as Hannah.  In England Colman has become a TV staple to the point where it seems you can hardly switch the box on without seeing her expressive, big-eyed face.  There’ll be no complaints for me though, I think she’s wonderful.  The truly special thing about this, is it shows a different side of her (Peep Show this ain’t).  She’s raw and real, and her portrayal of Hannah is nothing short of exceptional.

Her co-star, Peter Mullan, more than holds his own, expertly conveying a delicate balance of rage, strength and vulnerability.

There are several scenes during Tyrannosaur that are very hard to watch, but thanks to the impressive direction and hear-felt performances, you won’t be able to look away.  I only wish I’d watched it sooner.

Score: 9/10

9 responses to “Tyrannosaur

    • Thanks very much. It was on my list for ages too, but I kept putting it off, thinking it’d be too bleak, but it’s just brilliant. I hope you get to watch it, and I hope you like it as much as I did.

  1. Nice to see you love this but at a glance it seems sooo depressing. I felt that way about Another Year which lots of ppl praised. I do like Consindine and Olivia Colman though, so I might give it a shot.

    • It really is worth a go, if you can muster the will! I saw Another Year on TV not so long ago. It’s kind of sweet, and I love Jim Broadbent, but NOTHING HAPPENS.

  2. Have been meaning to take a look at this one for ages. But just never feel like I am in the mood for it, cause I have heard from a bunch of sources it is a tough watch. Thanks for the review.

    • Thanks for stopping by. I totally understand – I was exactly the same. I think you have to be in the mood for gritty realism! I hope you get to see it though, it’s very good (and mercifully only 92 minutes).

  3. Hate what happened to the dog. Almost had to stop it there and then (as a dog owner, such things onscreen really affect me, more than any gore or human violence, go figure). Good film but that dog… Left a bitter taste, can’t imagine ever wanting to watch this again.

    • Yes, it’s horrible when animals are hurt in films – I hate it when they have pets in horror films, because they always get it! In the context of this story, and of Joseph as a character, I thought it worked, even though it was hard to watch.

  4. Pingback: My top 10 British comedy series, part one | filmnerdblog·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s