The Outfit review by Pat Byrne
The Outfit was the film chosen for the Opening Gala at Glasgow Film Festival 2022
The UK Premiere, from Graham Moore, academy award winning writer of The Imitation Game, and starring academy award winning actor Mark Rylance (Leonard), is a stylish gangster movie set in Leonard’s tailor shop in Chicago in the 50’s.
Leonard is a master tailor, who trained in Saville Row. He takes great pride in his craft – the cut of his suits are impeccable as he is ‘a cutter’ not merely a tailor. He left London taking only his scissors with him when a photo of James Dean kicked off a new fashion for blue jeans. His shop is successful, well organised and runs smoothly with the assistance of an attractive young receptionist Mable (Zoey Deutch); a local woman, she yearns to move out of the neighbourhood and see the world.
At this time Chicago is notorious for organised crime and Leonard counts local gangsters among his regular clients. He does his best to ignore them including Richie (Dylan O’Brien) the petulant son of the local, ageing gang leader Roy Beale (Simon Russel Blake), who is romantically involved with Mable. Leonard also turns a blind eye to the drop off box they have in his shop.
The entire film is shot in the tailor’s shop and kicks off with Leonard recording the step by step process involved in creating a suit. He is a quiet, composed man, who is dedicated to his craft and there is an atmosphere of calm in the shop. This changes when Richie and Francis (Johnny Flynn), the high ranking tough guy in the gang, become anxious about a message dropped off at the tailors. An envelope, which has been delivered appears to be from The Outfit, the crime syndicate run by the Chicago mob. It raises concerns that there is a ‘rat’ in Roy’s gang.
Big trouble arrives at the door of the shop a clash takes place between Richie and Francis with a rival gang. (Les Fontaines has a more glamorous leader, Violet (Nikki Amuka-Bird).
Leonard’s shop becomes the backdrop to scenes of violence, wild accusations and a web of lies, which we gradually see unfold.
It’s a slick, well crafted film, which is full of surprises. There’s a lot of fine acting – Mark Rylance is riveting in the role of Leonard – long after you’ve left the cinema you’ll still see that twinkle in his eyes.
Pat Byrne, March, 2022
The Outfit at Glasgow Film Theatre UK Premiere GFF 2nd March and 3rd March at 3 p.m.
This section: Cinema, Glasgow Film Festival 2022, Pat's Home Page Blog
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