Euro Cult Movie Forum => British Films => Topic started by: Paul on 24 Aug 2007 - 11:34

Title: Nil By Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997)
Post by: Paul on 24 Aug 2007 - 11:34
Oldman's directorial debut—and at time of writing, only film in the director's chair—is an audacious experience. While it would appear to be little different from many TV dramas that have tackled the subject of domestic abuse on the surface, Oldman's film is a stark, gritty portrait of a family on the edge of the abyss.

At NIL BY MOUTH's centre lies two fantastic performances from Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke as a married couple living a loveless existence. Winstone's abuser and Burke's victim are all the more sad and pathetic when it clicks that we have all known people in similar situations, at one time or another.

NIL BY MOUTH is an exceptional film and one that is extremely hard to watch. That said, it's not without some comedic moments and benefits from an excellent Eric Clapton score and some nice photography by DoP Ron Fortunato.

The R1 disc from Sony Picture Classics is a featureless, bare-bones affair, which is a shame as much of the film's content was allegedly drawn from Oldman's own, real-life experiences. A commentary or detailed documentary would have been fascinating.
Title: Re: Nil By Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997)
Post by: Jonny on 24 Aug 2007 - 11:40
Only seen this the once, at the cinema when it was first released. An amazing film, very hard to watch at times though. Saw it with the wife who afterwards said it was a horrible film, she liked it just thought it was horrible.

Oldman's sister Laila is in this as well, she can now been seen regularly on BBC TV as Mo Harris in 'Eastenders'. Apparently she changed her name so that she wouldn't get special treatment from people because of her brothers fame...

From IMDB..
'Laila Morse' is a pseudonym originally suggested by her brother, Gary Oldman. It is an anagram of 'mia sorella' - the Italian for 'my sister'.

Laila Morse ( & IMDB info (
Title: Re: Nil By Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997)
Post by: Paul on 24 Aug 2007 - 11:44
There's a very amusing scene involving her, when her Junkie son Billy (Charlie Creed-Miles) appears at her work to ask her for money. When she denies him the money he needs, he proceeds to start screaming at her in front of her colleagues, calling her a "cunt".  ::)
Title: Re: Nil By Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997)
Post by: Mart85 on 24 Aug 2007 - 13:26
Great film but it's really hard to watch.  Nice review, Paul.

Didn't know 'Big Mo' was Oldman's sister.  Would never have thought it.
Title: Re: Nil By Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997)
Post by: Phill on 25 Aug 2007 - 16:39
Watched this again a couple of months ago after a ten year gap. Didn't help that I was completley pished first time I watched it ! It's a hard hiting film for sure and the performances are brilliant right across the board, I don't think though that the cinematography get's enough praise, some of it is stunningly beautiful IMO The only British film to come close to Cassavetes IMO and you know what I'm glad Oldman hasn't tried to follow it up, I think he said all he wanted to say in this film, brilliant!!!