#30: “Victory is the same as defeat. It’s giving in to destructive competitive urges.”



#30: Shallow Grave — dir. Danny Boyle

Danny Boyle is the Ween of cinema.  You could line up five of his films and be stunned that these were all by the same artist, and yet still, inherently know that of course these are by the same artist.  He seems to flout genre.  So it is his first that is my favorite.  But that’s to say, I just need to mostly sh0ut Danny Boyle as my answer.  Trainspotting is outstanding, but I don’t want to watch it again.  Slumdog Millionaire was a fantastic film.  Sunshine and Millions I still can’t believe are Danny Boyle films and yet.

Shallow Grave.  It introduced us twenty years ago to three relatively huge stars: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccelston, and Ewan McGregor.  But aside from that, again, snappy poppy dialogue and snark, coupled with a staggering mystery plot.  This is the film that will teach you — you can take your characters and put them through any situation as long as you stay true to those characters.  And it does.  The conflict and stakes are ridiculously high.  And yet, it’s about watching David unravel.  Then it’s about watching Juliet unravel.  Then its about Alex’s paranoia. We get into the shredding minds of these — honestly, wretched — individuals.  They are terrible bastards.  They are really awful people, and not in the obvious sense of puppy-kicking, moustache twirling train-track-tiers.  If cyberbullying existed in that world, all three of them would have had a fatality or two under their belts.

But this was the emergence of greatness.  A simple film, done well, and heralding the coming of some outstanding talent.


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