the legend of barney thomson

the legend of barney thomson

Starring Robert Carlyle, Emma Thompson, Ray Winstone,
Tom Courtenay, Ashley Jensen, Martin Compston
GFT,  12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB. 24 July – 5 August, 2015

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Icon Film Distribution are delighted to announce the UK theatrical release of Robert Carlyle’s directorial debut feature, THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON as July 24th, 2015, following it’s world premiere as opening night film of this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival June 17th.
In addition to directing the film, Carlyle plays the titular antihero Barney, alongside a standout supporting cast including Emma Thompson, in one of the most transformative roles of her career, Ray Winstone, Tom Courtenay, Ashley Jensen and Martin Compston.  Adapted from a highly successful, darkly comic crime novel series, THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON is a gutsy, macabre and hilarious crime thriller, with a pitch-perfect performance from Carlyle as the archetypal underdog.
THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON tells the tale of Barney (Carlyle), a hapless barber, devoid of charm and ‘patter’ as his fellow barbering brethren mockingly remind him.  Barney’s mediocre, mundane life of plotting for a way up is about to be transformed, following a typically incompetent fit of pique, when he inadvertently stumbles into serial murder, and with it headlong into the trail of a grotesque series of killings gripping Glasgow.  As he makes ham-fisted attempts to cover his tracks, he finds himself on the run from the bearish Detective Inspector Holdall (Winstone) and a testosterone-driven local Police task force at each others throats over the ongoing crimes. With his sanity threatening to unravel, Barney fatefully turns to his domineering, emasculating mother, the formidable Glaswegian ‘good-time girl’, Cemolina (Thompson). There’s no turning back now and the path that lies ahead for Barney may yet be littered with more murderous consequences than he could have ever anticipated.
BAFTA winning actor Robert Carlyle is known for pushing the boundaries of character, while as a theatre director he has won multiple awards for his reinvention of time-honoured stories including Macbeth.  Born in Glasgow and a graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Carlyle’s first film role was in Ken Loach’s Riff-Raff in 1991.  Memorable roles followed including the psychopathic Begbie in Trainspotting and Gaz, the leader of a group of male amateur strippers, in The Full Monty, which earned Carlyle multiple awards including the BAFTA for Best Actor in 1997.  Further film credits include Carla’s Song and Face alongside Ray Winstone (both roles won him the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor); the James Bond film The World is Not Enough, Anglela’s Ashes, The Beach, Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, 28 Weeks Later and Summer for which he received the Best Actor Award at the EIFF. For the past few years, Carlyle has been working for ABC Television as Rumpelstiltskin in its smash hit series Once Upon A Time.   Having previously directed for the stage with his company Rain Dog, THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON marks Carlyle’s feature film directorial debut.
For the role of Barney’s larger-than-life mother Cemolina, Carlyle was convinced only one British actress could truly do the imposing character justice – two-time Academy Award winning Emma Thompson (Howards End, Sense & Sensibility).  Transformed and aged by twenty years with prosthetics, Thompson gives a truly memorable and entertaining performance as Cemolina.    To play Barney’s nemesis, Detective Inspector Holdall, Caryle turned to his friend and actor Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast, The Proposition), and in the role of Chief Inspector McManaman, one of Carlyle’s acting heroes – Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner, Sir Tom Courtenay (45 Years, The Dresser).  Completing the cast is a pantheon of esteemed Scottish talent including Ashley Jensen (Extras, Ugly Betty), Martin Compston (Filth, Sweet Sixteen), James Cosmo (Game of Thrones, Braveheart), Kevin Guthrie (Sunset Song), Brian Pettifer (Amadeus) and Stephen McCole (Rushmore).   
The final character in the film is Glasgow itself.  THE LEGEND OF BARNEY THOMSON was filmed in locations across the city including the Barrowlands Ballroom, the working dog track Shawfield’s, the Red Road tower block and the main location of Bridgeton Cross in the East End, where a cast of real life characters welcomed Carlyle home, and created an authenticity to Barney Thomson’s world in the only city where this story could be told.  

GFT 12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB.

The Salt of the Earth, GFT Friday 17–Thursday 23 July, 2015
Love & Mercy, GFT Friday 10–Thursday 23 July, 2015

This section: Cinema

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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