For TIFF 2014’s last weekend, I won tickets to go see The Drop via a Twitter contest from Oliver & Bonacini. It was my first TIFF movie experience after five years of living in the city. I mean I have seen movies at the Lightbox when the festival hasn’t been going on but had never really been tempted to partake in the star gazing, line waiting and panel watching. But I’m not gonna turn down free stuff! Don’t worry this review is SPOILER-FREE.
We didn’t plan it this way, but we actually arrived 5 minutes after the movie start time but it turned out for the best since no line-ups and our seats at the Princess of Wales theatre were perfectly adequate. I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the house to be honest. Anyways, I’m pretty sure we missed the credits and maybe one or two exposition scenes but we saw the trailer so we weren’t lost.
The film is a crime drama based on Dennis Lehane’s short story “Animal Rescue”. Lehane also wrote the screenplay and this is Belgian director Michael R. Roskam’s first English-language film. The story revolves around a bar that serves as a “money laundering drop” spot for Brooklyn’s underworld, hence the title. James Gandolfini plays Marv who runs the bar while Tom Hardy plays Bob the bartender. Their world gets rocked by a robbery and a chance meeting with a dog and Nadia played by Noomi Rapace. Fine, the plot is nothing new but the story has just the right amount of intrigue to keep you guessing. I didn’t see the twist coming which is a good sign for a thriller because I usually do. Obviously Keith did because he just guesses every movie’s ending ever. Sigh. Unlike most suspenseful crime movies however, I liked that the thrills from this film came in a slow burn. The pacing and editing just made it all more organic.
But what sets this apart for me and the real reason to go see this movie is definitely the cast. If you’re a fan of James Gandolfini, then this is a must-see along with Enough Said. You won’t be disappointed. There’s a reason he is a legend. The supporting cast, particularly Rapace and Matthias Schoenaerts, are wonderful. You may know Rapace from the Swedish film adaptation of The Millenium series (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo, etc). And Schoenaerts starred in Rust and Bone with Marion Cotillard. If you’re wondering why their Brooklyn accents aren’t 100% spot on, Noomi is Swedish and Matthias is Belgian. Keep an eye on them though because they’re taking Hollywood by storm.
While everyone brought their A-game, Tom Hardy’s performance deserves extra special recognition. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was nominated for a couple of things. The role seemed like it was written for him. He was intense and compelling. You won’t be able to stop watching him. Plus his on-screen chemistry with a very special co-star is so endearing. And no, I’m not talking about Gandolfini or Rapace but the pitbull puppy that’s central to the movie! Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I fell in love with a movie mutt as much as I did with Rocco.
Just a quick review and recommendation for you to go see The Drop. Happy Hump Day!