44 Inch Chest

Film, Drama
0 Love It
Save it
44 Inch Chest
Playing like one of Steven Berkoff’s theatrical pastiches of East End gangsterdom – with cod-Pinteresque cadences replacing Shakespeare’s – this profane, pretentious and seriously unfunny ordeal thriller reunites the writing team (Louis Mellis, David Scinto) and some of the stars (Ray Winstone, Ian McShane) of the far superior ‘Sexy Beast’.

A deliberately ambiguous opening – a slow pan around the devastated flat of supine villain Colin Diamond (Winstone) to the strains of Harry Nilsson’s ‘Without You’ – is followed by the initially unexplained abduction of a young French waiter (Melvil Poupaud) from a Chelsea restaurant. The victim is then locked up in a wardrobe in an abandoned East End warehouse by a motley crew of caricatured hardmen – Diamond’s geezers! – consisting of mother’s boy Archie (Tom Wilkinson), confident, black-shirted gay Meredith (McShane), semi-psychopathic Mal (Stephen Dillane) and the viciously unreconstructed Old Man Peanut (John Hurt).

The stage is set – and what a claustrophobic, theatrical, two-room stage it is – for a day of taunting, vicious banter as the traumatised, volatile and hallucinatingly drunk Diamond arrives and his pals encourage him to exact fatal revenge on ‘lover boy’ for, as flashbacks and dialogue reveal, his wife’s (Joanne Whalley) infidelity.

Aiming for black comedy and a redemptive satire on self-deluding male machismo, ham fisted debut director Malcolm Venville instead gives his cast enough rope to hang themselves rather than the characters they play, with the exceptions of poor Poupaud, an almost wordless skeleton in a cupboard, and the unfortunate Winstone, who graces what is otherwise a deeply unedifying movie with one of the most raw, deeply felt but wasted performances of his career.

By: Wally Hammond


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday January 15 2010
Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Malcolm Venville
Cast: Ray Winstone
Joanne Whalley
John Hurt
Ian McShane
Tom Wilkinson
Stephen Dillane

Average User Rating

3.4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

just rented, and watched this film, what a waste of money and time. rating -5.

A waste of some very good talent. Absolute rubbish script, over zealous use of language and there just didn't seem to be any plot. Definitely not "Sexy Beast". Took us all our time to sit through 90 minutes of trash.

Brilliant in every way...confronting if swearing is a sin, delicate here and there, great acting (not understood by US film lovers) and scene choices, We were moved to tears and gratitude. Don't miss it.

I just watched this film on DVD, I thought it would be fantastic, I love Ray Winston and John Hurt. But no. It was terrible. How come no one tried to start bailing out this ship when it was so obviously sinking? They should have sacked the writers and replaced them with people that knew what they were doing. Also why is it all in one boring room? The direction was crap.

Just rented this POS. Jaysus! Utter, utter Cr*p, with big ole knobs on. The luvvies gave it some welly but I hated it almost from the trick shot at the start. (spoiler) HE'S NOT DEAD! Two minutes later when Tom Wilkinson goes "You can't just lie there all day" in an impeccable sarf Lahndan accent, it was all over for me. Have any of these tossers ever MET a pwoppa geeza? Pwoppa geezers don't say "LIE there". They say "LAY there". Stupid tin-eared arsewipes. And when your ear for speech is that thick, there's not much chance your sense of drama, plot etc will be any better. Lazy, mockney rubbish of the lowest order. Avoid, unless you genuinely believe that EastEnders is an accurate reflection of life.

I have not even seen the film but after the comments I think I have wasted my money with love film on this one.

I am baffled by this movie, what did they think they were doing when they made it? It goes nowhere, it looks like a collection of badly lit stills, and the characters are monochromatic. Absolutely clueless.

Wow, what a load of rubbish. Who directed this, alan Partridge?

If I could have given this film zero stars I would have done. Total boring tosh, badly directed and no plot.

Whoever said this was a good movie needs their head testing, this was such a rubbish movie we nearly skinned my mate for pressing the play button. As Steve stated your waiting for something to happen for 90 minutes and nothing does and when the end credits roll the first thing out of my mouth was what a load of s**t enough said.

Worst film I've seen in ages. I spent the entire 90 minutes waiting for something to happen, and ultimately it didn't. If all the swearing, and I'm no prude, qualifies as a script it could easily have been written by some of the school kids I've heard on the bus. By the end I really couldn't care less whether he killed his wife's lover or not, I just wanted Colin or anyone else for that matter, to do something, anything. I was glad when it finished. Absolutely dire.

Jesus Christ... this is the worst film I have ever seen... by a long, long way. Clearly written, directed and performed by individuals whose 'femine sides' are somewhat out of step with their 'masculine sides' ( if they have one ) . To portray a bunch of old time London gangsters as a bunch of ludicrously girly emotional wrecks ( apart from the one who was actually supposed to be gay) is quite frankly a bloody discrace. The whole cinema just sat there in shock... nervous coughs were the order of the day... and when it finally ended ( thank God) it was a race to get out of their ; hopefully un-noticed... In short it was silly, girly and lets cal a spade a spade... a total puff fest...... Go and see for your self lovies.

Surprisingly good movie, which encompasses an interesting contradiction of drama and comedy. As this film teaches one lessons on love, while questioning manhood, one goes through an emotional rollercoaster. Ray Winstone and the rest of the cast takes you by the hand as they shine with excellent performances. Also, for those not too easily shocked, the language used adds to the genuine feeling one gets while watching this movie. Where the Time Out reviewer sees many negative points about this movie, there is really only one: the ending. Where the tension is superbly built throughout the movie, the ending is a true anticlimax. It's limited change of scenery make it a movie that one does not necessarily has to see in the cinema. This is why I believe this movie deserves 4 stars.