The Netflix Report

Movie reviews from my Netflix queue. Highly personal and opinionated!

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Vacuuming Completely Nude In Paradise

Only 75 minutes long, this is a whirlwind, tour de force acting performance by Timothy Spall wrapped up in the guise of a Danny Boyle movie (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Millions). It was made for TV in the UK and is a low-budget, poorly shot video-looking thing.

The story is beside the point... an experienced door to door vacuum salesman is trying to win his company's annual highest sales award while taking on an innocent rookie. But the experienced salesman is Timothy Spall, channeling Zero Mostel at his most frenetic and obnoxious. He cuts through life like a hurricane, leaving destruction in his path without a glance backwards. Spall spits out his lines like demons posess his soul and Boyle puts him in full-face closeups that accentuate his pudgy, ugly, leering visage so that we are knocked backwards by the sheer horrendous nature of his character. And then suddenly Spall delivers a long heartfelt monologue that humanizes the man and brings you close before knocking you back on your heels again a second later.

The movie has some laugh out loud funny moments, some quiet touching moments, and quite a few confusing "that didn't work, did it?" moments. But I count it as a must-see purely for the acting by Spall. You'll forget anyone else was in the film. He is a wonder.

Viewer notes... The accents are molasses-thick Northern England and the dialog is fast. There are no subtitles available. So it can sometimes be a challenge for American ears. The kids won't like this and it involves some sexual situations and a lot of angry screaming.


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