“How come you don’t have any pictures of your sons?”
“I don’t have any sons.”
“Sure you do, Sam told me.”
“…He shouldn’t have”
Brian Cox delivers an Oscar worthy performance in the under-seen 2008 classic revenge film Red. The film features one of the best long takes I’ve seen in quite a while and a story that made the living room a little dusty in the Williams household.
Directed by Lucky McKee and later replaced by Trygve Allister Diesen, this personal drama revolves around an afternoon at a fishing hole with Avery Ludlow, and his dog Red. Ludlow is enjoying his afternoon when three high school aged boys approach him. They want money from him and are branding a shotgun. When Ludlow explains that he has no need for cash, the boys get upset and one of them needlessly kills Ludlow’s dog Red. Ludlow is crushed and he seeks out the parents of the boys responsible and wants an apology and confession. When the parental figure of Mr. McCormick, played brilliantly sleazy by Tom Sizemore refuses and tells Ludlow to leave them alone, Ludlow begins a fairly passive aggressive revenge plot on the boys. The real gem of this film however is when Brian Cox delivers a 3 minute long take of a heartbreaking speech that really makes this film worth seeing. The background of this character is so rich due to this event that an audience could not help but feel for this man and feel like any action he may take on these boys, would be justified.
Typically I have a rule. If a film comes out with an actor I’m familiar with, and I haven’t heard of that film, I give it a wide berth as it’s usually a money grab and not worth the time. This film is a revelation however. As I mentioned, this film solely depends on the performance of Brian Cox and he delivers in spades. That speech I continue to refer to is so crushing, such a heart felt story that it solidified the fact that I could listen to Brian Cox tell a story about anything. The casting in the film besides Cox is solid as the three kids were portrayed by actors that look like spoiled little kids that felt like the world owes them something. Working with the public I recognize the characteristics these actors portray and it made me cheer even harder for Ludlow as he begins his quest for revenge. This is a really solid, intimate film with a terrific speech and a mysterious director firing during production. This film is available on Netflix Instant, and do yourself a favor by checking out this film and this performance, it’s truly one of the best I’ve seen in a while.