You can see what writer/director Capaldi is trying to do, as he plays the self-deluding ambitions of Glaswegian cabaret singer Tony Cocozza (Hart) against the glitzy Vegas associations of the Sinatra repertoire he performs each night, while shading in a dark underworld threat from the gangland figures whose patronage may come at an ugly price. A sensible lass (Macdonald) offers another escape, if only Tony weren't so fixated by the bright lights. But much as we may admire Hart's application as the bighearted nobody barking up the wrong tree, the humiliation heaped upon him by a hideous perm and sad wardrobe rather hinders his ability to carry the picture. It's a tougher crime movie than, say, Comfort and Joy, but Bill Forsyth's whimsical ear for dialogue always made his characters that bit special. Here, the dialogue leaves strong actors like Brian Cox, scarred Tommy Flanagan (the errant dad in Ratcatcher) and old-timer Ian Cuthbertson struggling to make the heavies distinctive. Capaldi's highly attentive way with the camera shows promise, as does cinematographer Stephen Blackman's rich-hued take on the grim urban surroundings, but the final cut feels several rewrites short of a finished article.
Cast and crew