DIFF Film Review – Dom Hemingway
“Is my cock exquisite?” That is the first line uttered in Dom Hemingway. What follows is a monologue on Dom Hemingway’s penis that rival none ever seen or heard before. It is poetry, only cruder. That is the audience’s introduction to the film and the character of Dom Hemingway.
We meet Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) in prison. He gets out shortly after having spent twelve years there. He is a thief and a safe breaker who went away longer than he needed to because he would not rat out his boss. He sacrificed himself, but at the same time he sacrificed his marriage and his relationship with his daughter, Evelyn (Emilia Clarke). He gets out determined to get what’s coming to him and ready to pick up where he left off with his daughter. Both things are not so easy for the legendary Dom Hemingway.
First off, it is hard to place what decade this film takes place in. Both Dom Hemingway and friend/cohort-in-crime Dickie Black (Richard E. Grant) dress like they are living in the 70s. Dickie even sports some sweet yellow lenses in his glasses. It’s not until a cell phone shows up that you can place it in the 1990s and 2000s, and later more hints place it in the present day. Apparently, the 70s style is alive and well with these two and will not die.
The best and most unique part of Dom Hemingway is the writing. Writer/director Richard Shepard has a fantastic screenplay and it is brought very lively to reality by Jude Law. The monologue at the beginning is only a taste of the words that flow from Dom’s mouth. He has such a poetic prose to the way he speaks even if it is not complimentary in any way. After the first half-hour, you will be waiting for the next scene where Dom lets it loose. He is the kind of guy that I would expect to have majored in English only to have fallen back on thievery because it made more money. This is just Dom. Dickie is flabbergasted by some things that come out of his mouth, but he should have known that prison would not dull his speech. Honestly, Dickie’s reactions to what is coming out of Dom’s mouth is equally as entertaining as Dom’s speeches.
The film is split into different acts, each with its own title such as “And Just Like That, Opportunity Knocks” and “A Weekend in the Country Amongst Thieves.” Along with Dom’s prose, this makes the film almost like a Shakespearian play in its structure, only with cocaine and hookers.
Enough cannot be said about Jude Law’s performance. He is comical, but in a sense that Dom thinks what he is saying is completely legit. He had to have put some weight on for the role. This is not a skinny, fit Jude Law, but a “been in prison for twelve years” Jude Law. Jude’s Dom is self-righteous, loud, abrasive, and thinks the whole world owes him one. He only comes into check when he tries to right a wrong with his daughter. Richard E. Grant’s Dickie is the perfect yin to Dom’s yang. The facial expressions and matter-of-fact statements that come out of his mouth are pure comic genius. The wardrobe only accentuates the oddity of Dickie. Unfortunately, we do not get to see Emilia Clarke’s Evelyn much, but she does sing a bit and her character is the catalyst to Dom bettering himself.
To put it short and to the point, Dom Hemingway is pure comedic genius. It is rare to walk out of a film and realize how good the screenplay is above all else. Second to the screenplay is Jude Law’s Dom. I would not recommend taking your mom to see this (please see the first sentence in the review), but this is a very worthwhile trip to the theater to experience Dom Hemingway, in both the character and the film, and what Richard Shepard created.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et0AWf5mjbw&w=560&h=315]