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Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2015: #95. Brian Helgeland’s Legend

Legend

Director: Brian Helgeland // Writer: Brian Helgeland

There was initially a lot of promise for writer turned director Brian Helgeland’s career, his directorial debut was the entertaining 1999 adaptation of the Donald E. Westlake (aka Richard Stark) novel The Hunter, which was titled Payback for his version. Following that up with a pair of Heath Ledger titles, A Knight’s Tale and the doomed The Order, we didn’t see Helgeland get in the director’s seat again until 2013 with 42. He’s sticking with based on true story stuff with this resurrection of the notorious Kray Bros., the subject of an enjoyable Peter Medak film from 1990, The Krays. Here, we have Tom Hardy playing the twin gangsters, one of the few performers that can supersede the shortcomings of Helgeland and co-star Emily Browning to nab a slot on our list (we’re also curious as to the absence of Violet Kray, which provided Billie Whitelaw with some great material in the Medak version). Helgelands’ film is described as concerning identical twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray terrorize London during the 1950s and 1960s. Dick Pope is the cinematographer.

Cast: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis.

Producers: Working Title Films’ Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner (The Theory of Everything),  RedRum Films’ Chris Clark (Calvary), Quentin Curtis (London Boulevard)

U.S. Distributor: Cross Creek Pictures

Release Date: While this might bypass a festival slot, Helgeland could very well deposit this in a fall fest like Venice or Toronto, especially if there’s any possibility of awards glory for Hardy.

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Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is IONCINEMA.com's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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