Thursday, September 30, 2010

The "Red Riding" Trilogy (2009)

Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974

Director: Julian Jarrold. Cast: Andrew Garfield, Rebecca Hall, Sean Bean, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan, Robert Sheehan. 102 min. UK. Crime/Drama.

Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980
Director: James Marsh. Cast: Paddy Considine, Maxine Peake, James Fox, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan, Robert Sheehan, Warren Clark. 93 min. UK. Crime/Drama.

Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983
Director: Anand Tucker. Cast: David Morrissey, Mark Addy, Peter Mullan, Sean Bean, Warren Clark, Robert Sheehan. 100 min. UK. Crime/Drama.

Inspired by the Yorkshire Ripper serial killer case of the 1970s, these three episodes are more about the downward mental spiral of the detectives and journalists probing the case rather than the killer - a monster who had investigators running in circles, with no end in sight. Each episode has a different directing style, and is dramatically more disturbing then the last, but I found the second part distinctly absorbing, probably due to Paddy Considine's harrowing performance as a police finding his personal life notoriously involved in the case. Highly recommended if you're in search for dark, gritty police drama.

(PS: You may want to watch these on DVD rather than Netflix's "Instant Viewing", as I found myself struggling with the thick British/Irish/Scottish/Welsh ... accents.)

(Update: Ridley Scott has already acquired the rights for a remake, to squeeze all three movies into one.)

Mo says:


  1. I struggle with some accents too and I'm Scottish. So congratulations for sticking with the trilogy. I really must see these this year. I grew up during the Yorkshire Ripper era and although it didnt affect us in the North of Scotland we were all hooked on the newspaper stories and news reports.

  2. It took some patience, watching an entire trilogy without understanding a big portion of the dialogue. But it definitely paid off, as the directing is so well done, some images still linger in my mind as I write this.

    A classmate of mine in Iran who had near-zero knowledge of English (let alone French, Italian, Spanish, ...) loved watching Hitchcock, Almodovar, Fellini, Fassbinder - even without subtitles. I asked him what's the point of watching when you don't understand what they're saying? He said: "With a movie so beautifully done, who needs dialogue to understand the story?"

    Now that's what I call a movie-lover.