The Brag

[Sydney Film Festival 2010] Review: The Disappearance of Alice Creed

In Arts, Film Reviews, Sydney Film Festival 2010 on June 7, 2010 at 11:52 am



The Disappearance of Alice Creed (UK)

Next screening: Tuesday June 8 / 8.45pm / Dendy Opera Quays

It is quite frankly nice to see Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans, Prince of Persia) not in a mythical-themed film. This stunning British actress has for the past few parts played little more than a prop for her leading men, with her obvious talent going to waste. In this British thriller, Arterton, as the title character Alice, is one of only three actors on screen, with her cast-mates Eddie Marsan (Happy-Go-Lucky) as Vic and Martin Compston (Red Road) as Danny, her two kidnappers. This film shows not only how good Arterton truly is, but also how much can be done with a small budget, committed actors and an excellent script.

The Disappearance of Alice Creed is tense and enthralling viewing. Set almost entirely in a flat with three rooms, writer/director J Blakeson plays a clever psychological game with his audience, utilising a basic crime premise. Rich girl, Alice is kidnapped and is held for a two million pound ransom by two ex-cons, who have meticulously planned the crime. But as with all of the best laid plans, in practice everything starts to slowly unravel, as the characters’ motivations become increasingly convoluted and entangled.

The fact that as a viewer you are unable to leave the flat, much like Alice, lends suspense to the film as you ponder what is happening outside. This heightened level of claustrophobia is intensified by the menace exuded by Vic and the jittery energy of Danny. Each actor gives as good as they get in this brutal, shocking and at times darkly funny film.

If you get the chance to watch The Disappearance of Alice Creed, which is J Blakeson’s feature debut, take it- you won’t be disappointed. [BW]

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