By William Wolf


A well-received theater piece In England, “London Road” has been turned into a movie written by Alecky Blythe and directed by Rufus Norris, with an excellent cast speaking in melodies to scoring by Adam Cork. What works on stage doesn’t always work on screen, and in this case “London Road,” in the line-up at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, has its charms but also seems forced.

In the theater one willingly suspends disbelief and invites imagination to take flight. On screen everything seems very real and turning speech into song can at times appear labored even though the cast is appealing.

The setting is Ipswich and someone is murdering prostitutes. The situation, with a killer embedded in the population, understandably creates angst. The key characters whom we meet include Olivia Coleman as a working class single mom, Eloise Laurence as a school girl and Tom Hardy as a local taxi driver.

The screenplay focuses on folk who express themselves about their feelings, fears and resentments at the reputation their town has been getting as a result of the bad publicity triggered by the killings.

Considerable creativity has gone into both the original production at Britain’s National Theatre and this movie adaptation. However you respond, you can mark this down as a film worth seeing. Posted October 26, 2015.


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