The promise of fame allows a documentarist’s camera into all sorts of places, which is presumably how the investigative journalist Donal MacIntyre – he of tempting youngsters to commit crimes by wandering down Coldharbour Lane with a laptop – managed to spend so much time with 41-year-old Dominic Noonan, head honcho of a scraggy Manchester crime family. Noonan spent 22 years in 27 prisons and claims to have resolved a spot of bother at the Haçienda door by chopping off a dog’s head. Now, he’s more of a fixer, resolving the odd argument in exchange for a friendly fry-up. Which doesn’t, like MacIntyre, explain his three court appearances in the course of this film. Instead, MacIntyre, probably wisely, remains at the edge of proceedings and slightly in awe of his likeable subject, who, amazingly, on top of chatting about his past crimes is open and frank about his homosexuality. Ample music – Oasis, of course – and sweeping crane-shots over miserable two-up-two-downs plead for cinematic and social relevance but, really, this is what it is: an hour-and-a-half spent willingly at the side of a fascinating fella.
Friday December 7 2007