The Limehouse Golem [2016]

Detective Inspector John Kildare [Bill Nighy] is thrown under the bus by Scotland Yard – assigned an unsolvable serial killing at the last minute to save the reputation of a distinguished colleague. Faced with certain failure, the inspector nevertheless begins his investigation, which effectively works as a framing device for a second narrative strand told in flashback. The film was visually stunning, the production design was stylish and original, with great performances from absolutely everyone in the cast.

The queuing for this film was out of control – I mean, literally that the volunteers didn’t coral the crowd into the right space and in the right order – which was all the marginal disturbance I needed to break the ice with some of my fellow attendees. I spent the 45 minutes or so chatting with a lovely local and her daughter, and sat next to them in the film, quite a lot higher and more centrally than I’d been typically aiming for on my own. As a result I saw, up close, with my own eyes, perhaps for the first time, a truly American portion of cinema snacks – a giant platter of nachos, and two bucket-sized popcorns, with drinks to match. One of the reasons I know the film is good is because this mountain of food was consumed without me even noticing – either a herculean effort of disciplined eating, or a powerful distracting force.

The only possible negative comment I could make is that the eventual solution was apparent to me from about 10 minutes in; but I am far from sure that was accidental. A production designed with this level of sophistication and control doesn’t accidentally reveal its central killer in the first reel – so a spoilerific treatment to try and understand why will be forthcoming when it gets its mainstream release and wins all those awards for everything.

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