Wednesday, 2 September 2009

The War Zone

One final thought about The Observer's Top 25 British Films Of The Last 25 Years before putting the subject to bed. Flicking though the list properly for the first time yesterday, I was surprised to see that not only does it omit Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later but also Tim Roth's superb The War Zone which, for me, is not only one of the best British movies of the last two and a half decades, but of all time, and which doesn't even warrant a mention.

Based on an amazing novel by Alexander Stuart, The War Zone marked the wonderfully assured directorial debut of Roth who, to my mind, deserved as much acclaim for his stint behind the camera as Gary Oldman did for Nil By Mouth which appeared at number six. Brilliantly adapted by Stuart, who changed one central element from his novel, thus making it perhaps even more disturbing, the film was exquisitely shot by Seamus McGarvey and, given Roth's day job, featured a host of brilliant performances, not least from Ray Winstone and Lara Belmont as his abused daughter. if you've never seen it, The War Zone is still available on DVD in the UK.

Here's what Roger Ebert had to say back in 1999. The quality's not great but the sentiment comes across clear enough.

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