UK

Synopsis

From Stephen Frears, the Oscar-nominated director of "The Grifters," "Dangerous Liaisons" and "High Fidelity," comes a new film set in London's secret underworld, where everything is for sale. It's the story of a young man Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and young woman Senay (Audrey Tautou), who work at the same hotel—a breeding ground for illegal activity. They hardly know each other until the day he makes a shocking discovery. They can't report it to their corrupt boss. They can't go to the police. And they'll be lucky if they get out alive.

Director's Biography

Born in Leicester, England in 1941, after gaining a Cambridge Law degree, Stephen Frears started working in the theatre. Whilst working with Karel Reisz at the Royal Court, Reisz offered Frears the chance to work as an Assistant Director on his film Morgan. This led to his meeting Lindsay Anderson and Albert Finney: Anderson then took Frears on as Assistant Director on If and Albert Finney went on to star in Frears' solo directorial debut Gumshoe (1972).
Following Gumshoe, Frears found a home in television, working continuously directing plays by British greats such as Alan Bennett, Tom Stoppard and Peter Prince. In 1985, he was back on the movie scene with The Hit starring John Hurt and Terence Stamp. It was in 1985 that Frears won international recognition and acclaim for his highly original, My Beautiful Laundrette which propelled him and a then unknown actor called Daniel Day-Lewis into the limelight; in 1987 Frears directed a scathing satire on British society, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid and Prick Up Your Ears, based on author Joe Orton's memoirs.
Frears' next feature films came from the United States - Dangerous Liaisons (1988), starring Glenn Close and John Malkovich, for which he won a Cesar for Best Foreign Film, The Grifters (1990), which received an Academy Award nomination for a Best Director, followed by the comedy drama Accidental Hero (1992), starring Dustin Hoffman and Andy Garcia.
In 1993 Frears achieved another critical success, directing the adaptation of Roddy Doyle's modest story The Snapper, a BBC television production which soon transferred to the cinema screen.
Never one to steer away from a challenge, Frears teamed up with John Malkovich once more, directing him and co-star Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly (1996) and taking the helm on another Roddy Doyle favourite The Van (1996). Hi Lo Country (1998) saw Frears move into Westerns. An endearing tale of two men set against sweeping prairie Backdrops starring Woody Harrelson and Patricia Arquette.
Next came the box office success Hi Fidelity (2000), based on Nick Hornby's best-selling novel, starring John Cusack as the uptight, luckless owner of a record shop recounting his top five break-ups, followed by Jimmy McGovern's moving drama Liam, about a family during the Depression.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Stephen Frears

Written by: Steven Knight

Produced by: Tracey Seaward, Robert Jones

Cinematography: Chris Menges

Editing: Mick Audsley

Production Design: Hugo Luczyc-Wyhowski

Costume Design: Odile Dicks-Mireaux

Make-Up & Hair: Jenny Shircore

Original Score: Nathan Larson

Cast: Sergi Lopez (Sneaky), Jean-Philippe Ecoffey (Jean-Luc), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Okwe), Sophie Okonedo (Juliette), Benedict Wong (Guo Yi ), Zlatko Buric (Ivan), Sotigui Kouyaté (Shinti), Audrey Tautou (Senay), Abi Gouhad (Shinti's Son)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Film 2003
  • European Actor 2003
  • European Screenwriter 2003
  • European Cinematographer – Prix Carlo Di Palma 2003
  • Feature Film Selection 2003