The Disappearance of Alice Creed (10/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 100 minutes.
Not for children.
First time writer-director J
Blakeson has created a taut, realistic thriller with several twists that
gets more edgy as it moves along, despite the presence of only three
characters, headed by a magnificent performance by Gemma Arterton as the
often-naked, tied-up kidnapee. Martin Compston and Eddie Marsan are her
rough, meticulous kidnappers who end up with more than they bargained
This is not just a
tension-producing film to watch; it was the same to film. Says Blakeson,
“By the end of the second day of shooting, the entire cast had been
naked. Of course you want everyone to feel safe, particularly with Gemma
tied up for shot after shot, so although everyone was fine it was still
pretty intense: it’s disturbing on screen, but even more so when you’re
in the room.”
Blakeson is an admirer of what
came before, tracing the derivation of this film from a moment in
Brief Encounter (1945) that inspired Billy Wilder’s 1960 hit The
Apartment. He spent a lot of time watching Ron Howard’s Ransom
(1996), where he noticed one moment in the film when a member of the
gang cared for the victim. Like Wilder being inspired by a moment in
Brief Encounter to produce The Apartment, that started him
writing The Disappearance of Alice Creed.
Arterton is a comer. Although
she is known recently for her feisty performance in Prince of Persia:
The Sands of Time, she was also a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace
(2008). Thus in three films she has shown she can be sexy, funny,
The Disappearance of Alice
Creed is a sleeper, one of the best films of the year.