'Heartless': Making it Across the Pond

By Alyssa Rosenberg

It may be just that I'm reading China Mieville's Perdido Street Station, with its nightmare transfiguration of London, but Jim Sturgess's new movie, Heartless, looks awfully good, doesn't it?


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Sturgess has seemed on the verge of breaking out in the U.S. for a while, now. He's had the misfortune of having his big projects here be Across the Universe—for all her creativity, Julie Taymor is not necessarily a woman of the people, or the large box office—and 21, cursed by the presence of Kevin Spacey. I don't know that Heartless will necessarily make him a bigger, more established name here, but I'm certainly intrigued by it.

And I'm intrigued, too, by the presence of Noel Clarke. I'd honestly never heard of him until I started watching the revival of Doctor Who, in which he's quite good as a working-class guy who seizes the opportunity for greatness and transformation when it's presented to him. Clarke seems to be having the tiniest glimmer of a moment over here with this, and also with Centurion, which I thought was a hyper-violent mess with a number of finer performances, including his. While I live for a world in which we have an aggressive British invasion of American film and television and John Simm becomes the most hotly sought-after leading man on these shores, I'd settle for Sturgess and Clarke catching on a bit.

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