Socialist Worker

Filth: McAvoy hogs the limelight as a wallowing pig

by Aj Singh
Issue No. 2373

When Edinburgh detective Bruce Robertson is chosen to help solve a brutal murder, he has other things on his mind.

These include drugs, alcohol and sex—and a paranoid mission to deceive, discredit and destroy his colleagues for the sake of a promotion.

Filth is based on the book by Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh.

James McAvoy gives a suitably unhinged performance as Bruce. He is a racist, homophobic misogynist. 

But thanks to McAvoy’s rare skill at conveying emotion you can’t help but try and peer through the mess to see a semblance of humanity.

But that’s not to say that “deep down” Bruce is a nice person—far from it.

McAvoy recalls Harvey Keitel’s role in 1992’s Bad Lieutenant.

It is helped by Jon S Baird’s effective and energetic direction and a strong supporting cast.

On general release 4 October


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Tue 1 Oct 2013, 18:44 BST
Issue No. 2373
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