44 Inch Chest, further weathered suaveness and lives lived…

  • 44 Inch Chest film poster-Ray Winstone-Ian McShane-John Hurt-Tom Wilkinson-Stephen Dillane-Joanne Whalley
    Well, while we’re talking about weathered suaveness (see here)…

    If you should want to gather up a few of such people from this side of the sea, well, 44 Inch Chest does a fair job of such things.

    For a while I was somewhat obsessed by the poster for the film (and indeed it was a particular influence on a particular piece of my own Afterhours work).

    44 Inch Chest film still-Ray Winstone

    Although the layout of making sure all the prime members of a cast are present and displayed in a backward sloping arrow shape has become something of a commonplace occurrence these days (at the behest of publicity clauses in contracts or as a form of lending recognisable faces to a story or brand maybe?), this is something of a favourite of such things.

    Why? Well, it’s that sense of weathered suaveness and more than a touch of menace. Not in the fizzy, hormone packed way that a youthful gathering may present, more in a sense of lives travelled and “now, let’s not have any messing about, son” manner.

    Also, sometimes it seems as though some actors carry the possible routes their characters’ lives might take and their stories from one film to another.

    44 Inch Chest film still-Ian McShane-Joanne Whalley
    Take Ian McShane here. When I saw the poster, it felt as though I was looking at who Wolfe from Villain had become a fair few years later (via various misdemeanours and bother in Sitting Target, Freelance and higher up the layer cake during Sexy Beast along the way).

    John Hurt – well, he may be playing a more working class chap here and he may be (I think) actually a “posher” gent in real life but if you should want to see the result of life lived on a face and (really rather) weathered suaveness then look no further.

    44 Inch Chest film still-Joanne Whalley
    And Ms Whalley? Well, this role may well be more no-nonsense moll-ish than the Christine Keeler in Scandal became or might have become, in either the film or actual life but there’s a link there via smoke filled bars or basements and too many years watching and hearing the promises from all around them.


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