Sexy Beast

Director: Jonathan Glazer
Screenwriters: Louis Mellis, David Scinto

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


During his esteemed acting career, Ray Winstone (The War Zone, Nil by Mouth) has brought a powerful and raw intensity to his portrayals of some of the most sinister screen characters in recent British cinema. In Sexy Beast, he lends his hulking frame and menacing stare to tough-as-nails gangster Gary. In the twilight of his career, Gary has just retired to a posh Spanish hacienda with his loving wife Deedee (played by the lovely Amanda Redman). However, all is not well in paradise.

Rumbling over the horizon comes Don "Malky" Logan, played by Academy AwardT winner Ben Kingsley (Gandhi). Logan is the one-time friend but now foe of Gary and is intent on persuading him to return to London for one last big job. What follows is an unforgettable clash of wills as two amazing actors go head-to-head in a verbal and literal slugfest.

Kingsley unleashes his immense talent and range and delivers an extraordinary performance accentuated by an unexpectedly physical presence opposite the formidable Winstone. Intelligently, first-time feature director Jonathan Glazer allows the two distinguished actors the freedom to do their work when facing off and reserves his deft stylistic touches for other moments. A fantastic opening sequence perfectly kick starts this updated film noir that is innovatively flushed with vivid color, heartfelt emotion, and a groovy soundtrack. Sexy Beast is a mix of disparate elements in a striking directorial debut.

— Trevor Groth

Screening Details

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