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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Alyssa Rosenberg is a culture writer with The Washington Post.