Re-watching: Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1983

The Red Riding Trilogy’s conclusion wraps up the story but not quite all the loose ends.  This film is a little different then the other two, in that it concentrates on two characters instead of just one.  This entry is directed by Anand Tucker and like the first two, this one is also based on a book by David Peace and the screenplay is written by Tony Grisoni.

This film starts with a flashback to 1974 where a group of our corrupt cops and Sean Bean’s corrupt business man are meeting at a wedding.  They are taking about events that set in motion this whole trilogy.  This flashback is from David Morrissey’s character Maurice Jobson’s perspective.  Jobson is one of the cops that has been part of all these cases and now he is having second thoughts, after all these years another young girl has gone missing and he is rethinking his actions. In this film we flashback to past events from the first two films all from Jobson’s perspective.  This sheds new light on past events and gives us the audience some new information.

Our second main character is John Piggott played by Mark Addy.  Piggott is a lawyer or solicitor in England.  He is back in town and seems to be a pretty good lawyer.  He is asked to help Michael Myshkin played by Daniel Mays.  If you remember the first movie he was a mentally handicapped man who confessed to the murder of one of the missing girls.  He is also asked by another family to help their son who was just arrested for the murder of one of the other girls.  He starts digging into the story and between him and Jobson we hope to get to the bottom of what has been going on in Yorkshire.  Will we ever find out who the Wolf is?  Will the lawyer be able to help get Myshkin out of prison?  Will they find this latest kidnapped girl before it is too late?  How deep does this case go?

Like I said, this doesn’t tie everything up in a nice little bow for you.  Small characters have little pieces to the puzzle and we get most of that puzzle put together.  Characters like Peter Mullan’s Martin Laws and Robert Sheehan’s DJ who seem to be minor characters have big pieces to this puzzle.

Watch all three of these films in order and enjoy the ride.  Watch them carefully because some small detail in one film can turn out to be a big part of the next one.  Like I said at the beginning of my first review, this is a noir trilogy, based on 3 of the 4 books in a series by David Peace and all 3 films were made in the same year by 3 different directors.  A great story with some amazing talent from England.  To think this is what England is producing for their television is an amazing achievement.

Re-watching: Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980

This is the second in The Red Riding Trilogy.  This installment is directed by James Marsh.  This is based on the David Peace’s book and the screenplay is from Tony Grisoni as are all three of this series.

This film revolves around Peter Hunter played by Paddy Considine.  He is brought in from a different office to take over the Yorkshire Ripper serial killer case.  Our corrupt Yorkshire police force isn’t having any luck solving the case of now 13 murders.  Hunter was also brought in back in 1974 to investigate what had happened at the end of our last movie.  We find this out in flashback fashion throughout the film.  He had to end that investigation when he found out his wife had a miscarriage and left Yorkshire.  Now he is back in 1980 and he is not welcome.  He assembles his team to start looking at the old cases in the Ripper file to see if they can get to the bottom of this.  One of his team played by Maxine Peake finds a case that may not have been the Ripper.  She also has had an affair with Hunter and this has sidetracked both people throughout the investigation.

A lot of our recurring characters show up again in this one, those of note are Maurice Jobson played by David Morrissey,  BJ played by Robert Sheehan,Martin Laws played by Peter Mullan and Bob Craven played by Sean Harris.

Our story may seem like it is unrelated to the first movie, but we would be wrong.  At the end of this we have more questions than before.  This is another good film for neo noir and noir fans.  I would recommend watching the first film, Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974, which I just reviewed.  You could watch this on its own but I don’t think you would find it as enjoyable as watching it after the first film.

Re-watching: Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1974

The Red Riding Trilogy is an interesting concept, which I like very much.  This Trilogy is based on the books by the same name written by David Peace.  I’ve read the books years ago after watching these movies when they came out on DVD.  There is actually 4 books but they cut one of the books out of this series to make it 3 films.  The books are also very good and worth checking out.  The other thing about this trilogy is that all 3 films were made in the same year, by three different directors.  The directors all have a different feel and look for each of the films.  All three screenplays are written by Tony Grisoni so there is continuity throughout the films.  This works really well, since every film is from a different year and all look unique.

1974 is directed by Julian Jarrold and stars Andrew Garfield as our main character for this installment. As we go we meet what seems to be minor characters, but pop up in the next two films as key parts to the continuing plot.  This installment has a very distinct Yorkshire accent by all the characters.  This can make some parts hard to understand what they are saying and/or what the slang means.

This story revolves around Garfield’s Eddie Dunford who is a rookie journalist.  He is on his way to his Father’s funeral, but stops off first for a press conference for a missing young girl.  He gets assigned to the story and starts to put together that this may be a serial killer.  Two other girls around the same age have gone missing before this one.  He starts to link the three cases and is warned by a co-worker played by Anthony Flanagan to watch his step.  Soon this co-worker is killed in an auto accident, Dunford doesn’t think it’s an accident.  He starts looking into this story as well and finds the two stories may be connected.  The story involves corrupt cops, and corrupt journalists, as well as a business man, played by Sean Bean, that this all revolves around.  Dunford also falls for the mother of one of the little girls that has gone missing, played by Rebecca Hall.  She is definitely Dunford’s femme fatale for this film.

Some of the other character’s you will want to pay attention to in this first installment are Maurice Jobson played by David Morrissey, BJ played by Robert Sheehan,Jack Whitehead played by Eddie Marsan,Michael Myshkin played by Daniel Mays, Martin Laws played by Peter Mullan and Bob Craven played by Sean Harris as well as others.

This film and the other two are well worth your time.  A well sorted out trilogy always designed to be a trilogy and not just a good first film followed by two sequels.  This is something unique to noir, I can not think of three films designed to tell one big story like this in the noir genre.  I think all fans of noir will enjoy these.  They do take some effort to follow but that is part of the joy of these.  I will return with a review of the second film tomorrow.