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Review: Blessed


Director: Mark Aldridge
Starring: James Nesbitt, Natascha McElhone, Peggy Nesbitt, Lillian Woods

The One Where I Watch Blessed, And Realise I Am Blessed

You have to worry when a film decides to start with title cards that revolve, like some sort of demented power point presentation.

When the music that goes along with it is a powerful hymn, harking back to James Horner’s brilliant Braveheart theme, the mind boggles.

What. Were. They. Thinking?

I have to say, the people in charge of such decisions probably sat there smoking a big fat Cuban (cigar). For they knew they had something in their locker. They knew they could make such bizarre decisions, as they had an ace in the pack.

With the credits done, (whirling away, this time over some beautiful scenery, that matches the haunting song), that ace is revealed

James Nesbitt.

Maybe one of the most underrated actors of all time. Maybe not even close.  I go with the former, and offer you a wager, dear reader… after giving this film a go, you will agree.

You see, I need to come clean.

Phil has always been awesome to me. Letting me write about Manhunter. Or my Tarantino obsession (fetish?). Letting me go on, (and on, and on*) about John Carpenter. When he asked if I would review some screener DVDs, and mentioned The Reef was one of them – I jumped at it.

Then I watched The Rebound (Review soon… I know, I know… You can’t wait). And of course, Blessed. And I emailed him.

Me: Err… Phil. About those screeners, and that. Turns out some of them are… umm… chick flicks…

Phil: nods, whilst probably stroking his beard

Me: Well… Um, far from me to suggest your readership, but err… do your loyal fans want to know about relationships… and a film about a James Nesbitt character he says he’s waited all of his life to play? A role that allows him silence. Room to move. To paint the look of losing all that you love, all over his haggard face?

Phil: What do you think?

Me: I think they want to read about explosions, guns and violence. And Olivia Wilde.

Phil: I’ll make a deal with you.

Me: Yes, oh wise one?

Phil: Don’t ever f*cking underestimate my readers again, and I may, may let you review for this site again.

Me: Yes Boss.

Phil: And get a shave.

Me: Yes Boss.

Phil: And a hair cut.

Me: Yes Boss.

And so, I learnt a valuable lesson. There is a place for films like Blessed. It’s 80 odd minutes long. I’ve watched it twice.

I like noticing nuances in Nesbit’s performance. I hate that when he breaks down on screen, it makes me wince at the realism. I wonder what he is thinking to make him act like that? Real loss? He certainly makes you believe that’s what it is. But the loss of a child? As a young Dad that’s unbearable to think about.

Nesbitt makes you, though.

And credit to him, a film about loss, and about trying to escape that feeling isn’t as morbid as it should be.

From doing his teeth in the morning, and being distracted by tweeting birds, to trying to round up a horse as if he was a matador, there is considerable charm here.

And the scenery is bloody beautiful.

The only discussion theme on IMdB is about how someone has written a page tirade on the fact Nesbitt befriends a young orphan. How, as a grieving Dad, could he be so irresponsible as to not call the Police, or look for her parents?

The reply is spot on.

“It’s a pity you don’t have the imagination to look beyond these trivial matters to see the magic of this film.

Your loss.”

Well said, Bogwart-1. Well said.

*… And on


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