My Thoughts on Dom Hemingway

DomHemingwayJude Law sleazes it up in the British dark comedy Dom Hemingway.  The titular Hemingway (Law) is a foul mouthed, heavy drinking larger-than-life safecracker, who just spent twelve years in prison after refusing to testify against his boss Mr. Fontaine (Demián Bichir).  Upon his release, Hemingway immediately reteams with his best friend Dickie Black (Richard E. Grant) and heads to Fontaine’s villa to collect his long-awaited compensation.  However, when a series of events doesn’t go Hemingway’s way, he begins to reflect on himself as a person and focuses on reconnecting with his estranged daughter Evelyn (Emilia Clarke). The sleaziness of the character of Don Hemingway is quickly established with an opening scene of Hemingway giving a very filthy monologue about this nether regions.  It was a bit of an awkward scene to start the film with, especially since it probably goes on longer than it should have.  The scene also makes Dom Hemingway seem like a much cruder film than it actually turns out to be.  With his mutton chop beard and cockney accent, Dom Hemingway sure seems the part of a sleazy gangster.  However, as it turns out, Hemingway is a broken man, after spending a dozen years in prison.  With his wife deceased and daughter estranged, Hemingway is desperate to bring some meaning to his life again. If anything, Dom Hemingway is worth seeing for Jude Law’s performance in the lead role, since he is obviously putting everything he has into the character.  However, the plot of the film is very episodic and there comes a point when Law’s performance on its own is not going to be enough.  However, the film also has a decent supporting performance by Richard E. Grant as Hemingway’s one-handed best friend Dickie Black, who almost outshines Hemingway in many of the scenes.  Emilia Clarke isn’t in the film enough as Hemingway’s daughter Evelyn, though it is interesting seeing her outside of Game of Thrones (with her natural dark hair colour). When it is all said and done, Dom Hemingway seems to focus more on the character and less on the plot.  While the film does succeed in the sleazy and profane elements, the film does not really come together with a satisfying enough story arc.  What’s left is series of vignettes, with the search for redemption tagged onto the end.  While the performances do make the film at least worth checking out, it did not end up leaving that much of a lasting memory. 7 | FAIR