Over the past few years James McAvoy has been transitioning into quite a manly actor. McAvoy used to have a welcoming boyishness to him that’s been seen less and less lately. He recently stripped himself of it in Welcome to the Punch before using it to his advantage as an unassuming punk in Trance. It’s not an easy transition to go from the young pretty boy to an actor you buy as the dangerous type, but McAvoy’s managed to pull off that transformation. This summer he’ll convince anyone who thinks otherwise with Filth. He’s a revelation in this Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting) adaptation, playing Detective Bruce Robertson, a man with many, many problems.
McAvoy’s performance in Jon S. Baird‘s film has already been experienced in some countries. In fact, you can import the Blu-ray from the UK. It’s totally worth the blind buy, but if you want to avoid the extra costs, the film will soon hit theaters and VOD in the States. It’s a hard-R movie, so keeping in spirit with the tone of the movie, Magnolia has released a red band trailer to let people know what they’re in store for.
Behold Detective Bruce Robertson in all of his hideous glory (via IGN):
Admittedly this red band trailer is kind of all over the place. It’s a bit too long and shows a little too much. Baird’s film isn’t something that can easily be cutdown to a two-minute advertisement, though. Filth is so many things. It’s funny, tragic, disgusting, beautiful and brutal. To put any specific label on it — comedy, drama or dramedy — would be disingenuous.
One thing is for sure, though: McAvoy is incredible as Detective Robertson. From beginning to end, the character indulges in every wrong impulse imaginable. At one point Filth takes a brave and truly bizarre turn, which you’ll either go with or won’t, that puts some of his behavior into perspective. Despite everything that’s so wrong about Robertson, McAvoy, Baird and Welsh have you feeling his pain by the end. Robertson is the kind of guy you’d avoid at all costs in real life, but from a distance and on a big screen, he’s endlessly watchable. This is a character and performance that couldn’t be more alive. If you’re not a McAvoy fan, you’ll certainly become one after seeing him in Filth.
Filth is available on iTunes and OnDemand on starting April 24th, followed by a limited release on May 30th.