Film Reviews

Jude Law Is Brilliant in Dom Hemingway

We've been told to never judge a book by its cover, but we always secretly judge a movie by its teaser image. In last month's Miami International Film Festival program, one image stood out — a man in a royal-blue suit.

It was Jude Law like we've never seen him before.

Dom Hemingway, which made its Florida premiere at MIFF in March and opens nationwide Friday, proves two things: Law is a sexy beast, and he's also quite the funnyman.

The opening scene shows an almost unrecognizable Law with a handlebar mustache and a big, buff, hairy chest. In his best cockney accent, he recites the most poetic ode to his penis as he receives fellatio. As the young gentleman gets off his knees and wipes his mouth, it's back to the prison cell for the both of them.

A crook's crook, Dom Hemingway (Law) has spent the past 12 years in prison doing extra time because he didn't rat out his accomplices when he got caught. That's an honorable thing to do for a thief, and his crime boss, Mr. Fontaine, owes him a great deal of gratitude — and cash.

When Dom is finally released from prison, his first order of business is to beat the crap out of the guy who moved in with his wife. Then it's off to the pub to make up for lost time.

With his good friend Dickie by his side, Dom embarks on a trip to the French countryside to pay a visit to Mr. Fontaine. Things escalate quickly during this weekend in the country among thieves.

In no particular order: There's a car wreck, some fancy prostitutes, tons of blow, and even a quick side view of Dom's celebrated body part we heard so much about in the beginning of the film. And that's just in one weekend.

Dom and Dickie then head back to London. At this point, Dom has reached rock bottom and is penniless, lacking the courage to see his grown-up daughter. In a moment of deep thought, Dom says, "A man with no options suddenly has all the options in the world." He and Dickie have no idea what that means, but it seems to ring true for him at the time.

Now that there's nowhere left to go but up, Dom's luck eventually comes around.

Law is effortlessly funny as a vulgar, gold-toothed, safe-cracking peasant trying to get back on his feet. It's a wild, 90-minute ride into the darkest of comedies, and you'll want to strap in and prepare to fall for Dom Hemingway.

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Carolina del Busto is a freelance writer for Miami New Times. She nurtured her love of words at Boston College before moving back home to Miami and has been covering arts and culture in the Magic City since 2013.