Possessed of startlingly fresh performances and a visual style of genuine panache, Shallow Grave
was deservedly a BAFTA Best Film winner in 1994. This was clearly a film that deserved attention. Sure enough, the principal talents involved (Director Danny Boyle, Producer Andrew Macdonald, Writer John Hodge and actors Christopher Eccleston and Ewan McGregor) have gone on to huge successes both together (Trainspotting
) and apart. The thriller's plot is simple enough: three flatmates take on a fourth (Keith Allen) who unexpectedly dies, leaving a mountain of cash behind. Who are your friends? Who can you trust? How far would you go for money? These are the questions facing Juliet (Kerry Fox), David (Eccleston) and Alex (McGregor) as the scenario spirals out of control around them. Somehow no matter what they do, the decisions seem to lead to one gruesome event after another. The film's often breakneck pace--backed by tunes from Leftfield--quickly became a much-copied style. Most agree that the copies pale beside the original, and this ice-cold morality poser remains the best view of post-80s greed on screen.
On the DVD: Although presented in widescreen anamorphic format, both picture and sound are not much better than an average video playback. Add a static menu and just one trailer and this release will probably disappoint today's DVD collector. --Paul Tonks
Three friends push the boundaries of trust in this hermetically sealed shocker from the creators of Trainspotting. Starring Kerry Fox (The Hanging Garden), Christopher Eccleston (Elizabeth) and Ewan McGregor (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace), Shallow Grave is a masterpiece of terror riddled with hairpin turns that takes you on a fantastic ride to the lowest depths of human nature. Juliet (Fox), David (Eccleston) and Alex (McGregor) find that their new reclusive roommate has not left his bedroom for days. After kicking in the door they discover his drug over-dose…and a suitcase full of money! Fatefully choosing to keep the money, they know they have to get rid of the remains. But the body won’t stay buried and a careless trail from the shallow grave leads the police – and two money hungry thugs – back to the trio. And as the stakes get higher, so does the body count, not to mention their paranoia which is quickly putting their friendships in jeopardy…forever!
After three Edinburgh roommates (Ewan McGregor, Christopher Eccleston, and Kerry Fox) finally choose a new roommate they can live with, they find him dead on the floor with a suitcase full of cash. While trying to remove the body and extricate themselves from the situation, they wade hip-deep into a world of drugs, greed, and madness. Danny Boyle's first feature film is a delightfully circuitous, nail-biting, and unpretentious noir, with the director--and screenwriter John Hodge--focusing on the gradual psychological disintegration of the roommates. Boyle and Hodge would gain even greater acclaim across the Atlantic with their hit follow-up, TRAINSPOTTING. Eccleston would go on to appear in films such as ELIZABETH and THE OTHERS. McGregor, of course, would become Renton in TRAINSPOTTING and eventually Obi-Wan Kenobi, among many other screen roles.
Special Features: - Commentary with Danny Boyle - ‘Digging Your Own Grave’ BBC documentary directed by Kevin Macdonald
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Dolby Digital Stereo ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Commentary, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, Special Edition, SYNOPSIS: Director Danny Boyle revisits a theme from his Shallow Grave and Trainspotting days -- greed -- but focuses on a much younger protagonist with this comedy drama. Millions opens with recent widower Ronnie (James Nesbitt) moving his two precocious pre-pubescent sons to the suburbs. Missing his mother and the comforts of his old neighborhood, the young Damian (Alex Etel) builds a cardboard-box fort on the outskirts of the suburb, where one day his placid introvert existence is literally crushed by a giant gym bag full of thousands of pounds' worth of cash. Less concerned with the origin of the money than with how to spend it, Damian and his older brother, Anthony (Lewis McGibbon), decide to keep it a secret from their father, which becomes an increasingly tricky proposition as the days pass. His conscience getting in the way of his spending, Damian debates the ethics of his ill-gotten gains with a handful of imaginary saints, and begins to try to spend his cash a little more altruistically. But his charitable deeds inadvertently attract the attention of a mysterious, threatening man who's desperate to get his hands on the money. Marking a distinct change of pace for Boyle after the horror film 28 Days Later, Millions world-premiered at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: BAFTA Awards, Fantasporto Awards, ...Shallow Grave