Dom Hemingway

Directed By: Richard Shepard

Starring: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demián Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, and Mãdãlina Diana Ghenea

"Oh.  I'll tell you who I am.  I'm the f*cker who'll tear your nose off with my teeth.  I'm the f*cker who will gut you with a dull cheese knife and sing Gilbert and Sullivan while I do it.  I'm the f*cker who'll dump your dead body in a freezing cold lake and watch you sink to the bottom like so much shit.  I am that f*cker.  That's the f*cker who I am."
-Dom Hemingway (Jude Law)

Jude Law is an actor who consistently appears on the big screen in two or three roles every year.  Despite his frequent appearances and his well-documented versatility, he's not often been the guy tackling the more outlandish characters in the last several years.  That's why I've been so intrigued by him portraying an uncouth ex-convict in the British crime comedy-drama Dom Hemingway.  Once again, Law gets to show off his acting chops with a colorful performance.  If the above quote from his character proves anything at all, it proves that only good things can come of Law’s latest performance for moviegoers everywhere.

After spending the last twelve years in prison, Dom Hemingway (Law) has finally been released back into the world.  During that time, his wife has passed away of cancer without her first husband.  During that time, his daughter Evelyn (Emilia Clarke) has grown up without a father.  During that time, his best friend and partner in crime Dickie (Richard E. Grant) has even lost his left hand on a job.  The one thing that didn't happen during that time was Hemingway becoming a rat.  He never spilled the beans on the man for whom he was working when he got arrested, a crime boss by the name of Mr. Fontaine (Demián Bichir).  For being a loyal soldier, he expects to be rewarded.

Several days after getting out of the slammer and reacquainting himself with the female gender, Dom goes with Dickie to Mr. Fontaine's villa outside of St. Tropez for a weekend in the countryside among thieves.  Looking to get what is owed to him for his last job, plus interest, plus a present, Hemingway makes it abundantly clear where he stands with Mr. Fontaine very quickly upon arriving.  He even makes a few rude remarks about Fontaine's girlfriend Paolina (Mãdãlina Diana Ghenea).  Despite his big mouth getting him into trouble on more than one occasion during the weekend, Hemingway receives 750,000 pounds from Fontaine.  However, the pendulum of luck has not swung Dom's way.  Sex, drugs, and a deadly car accident are all awaiting Hemingway and his friends later that night.  A man starting the next chapter of his life with plenty of options in front of him will suddenly have no options at all.

A refreshingly irreverent indie flick that expertly blends crude comedy and poignant drama, Dom Hemingway is a film anchored by one thing and one thing alone, an outstanding performance from Jude Law.  He's over the top.  He's a loudmouth.  He has plenty of anger management issues.  On screen, Law becomes an authentic S.O.B.  At the same time, he gives his character a certain sense of morality.  Despite the fact that he's a killer who's done some sick things like killing a cat named Bernard, he has a code.  To marry the f*cker who Dom Hemingway truly is and a guy who plays by the rules is quite impressive.

Beyond Jude Law's performance, Dom Hemingway is a redemptive tale of a career criminal that doesn't necessarily push any cinematic boundaries, but it's a damn good movie that delivers loads of entertainment.  While I should probably recommend something a little heavier to honor Dom's penchant for the bottle, all you need for this one is a few wine coolers.  Dom Hemingway gets a 0.03% rating.