Slow-moving account of the events leading up to the execution of King Charles I (Rupert Everett) and its aftermath, focusing on the stormy friendship of rebel leaders Oliver Cromwell (Tim Roth) and General Thomas Fairfax (Dougray Scott). Despite lavish period detail, a good supporting cast and an excellent performance from Everett, the leaden and historically dubious script renders this duller than the driest of documentaries.
Paul Giamatti, a character actor who's embodied a host of losers and creeps, always merited a lead role, and was surely born to play Harvey Pekar, the grumpy but ultimately likeable (not lovable) hospital clerk who finds a means of expression through his comic books/graphic novels. Inspired by friend Robert Crumb (and this is a superior film to the 1994 documentary Crumb), our obsessive-compulsive antihero depicts and ponders the mundane and everyday through his work, and the world and his wife relate.
Last year's Hey Harmony cemented Thomas Hansen's reputation, but the ex-postman and Norwegian Third Division footballer has dismissed it as the work of a man who'd "lost himself somewhere on the road, together with alcohol and marijuana." On this fourth opus, he's wrested control from the demons and emerges bolder, though perhaps less darkly alluring. The finest moments remain wondrous, though: "Silence Break Your Heart"'s spookily ethereal undertow; the strained vocal kink of "Waltzing Around Insane".