Starring: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir
Directed by: Richard Shepard (“The Matador”)
Written by: Richard Shepard (“The Matador”)
Opening the film with a 5-minute soliloquy about how “exquisite” a specific part of his anatomy is, two-time Oscar nominated actor Jude Law (“The Talented Mr. Ripley”) paints the perfect portrait of his title character in “Dom Hemingway,” a prickly dark comedy that gives Law an opportunity to display his full range and take on a personality that would easily have swallowed up a less talented actor.
Doing what he did for Pierce Brosnan in his 2005 film “The Matador,” director Richard Shepard roughs up the edges of his lead actor and gives Law plenty of ammunition to bring the vulgar, vain and oftentimes livid Dom to life. Why is Dom like this, you ask? Dom just wants what he is owed. After spending 12 years in prison, a sentence that would’ve probably been reduced had he ratted out his boss Mr. Fontaine (Demian Bichir), Dom, a professional safecracker, is ready to collect. Reconnecting with his old crime partner Dickey (Richard E. Grant), Dom’s plans are wrecked after a near-death experience, which spurs Dom to seek out his estranged daughter Evelyn (Emilia Clarke) and make amends.
Ripped from the pages of a screenplay like 1996’s “Trainspotting,” 1998’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” or 2000’s “Snatch,” the character of Dom Hemingway is one we’ve seen before and might even be considered cliché to some who have had their fill of sly, Guy Ritchie-esque UK criminals. But this is Law’s show and he does enough with Shepard’s dialogue-driven script to keep things interesting for the players even though storyline about fathers and daughters is lost in all the shady, backroom dealings. Shepard’s narrative loses steam when Dom and his big mouth aren’t front and center, but the Dom in “Dom Hemingway” is far too big of a character to pass over. It’s one of Law’s best performances of his career.