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Set amidst the grayscale backdrop of working-class Leeds, Tyrannosaur is a harrowing story of misogyny, violence and the hope of redemption.

Joseph (Peter Mullen) is a rough-as-guts widower with an anger problem. When he’s not downing pints at the local watering hole, Joseph is killing dogs, brawling with youths or smashing shop windows. Like most of the men who live in his town, he’s a disenfranchised male with nowhere to go.

Joseph soon finds an unlikely friend in Hannah (Olivia Colman), a religious ‘do-gooder’ who runs the local thrift store. In contrast to Joseph, Hannah is a model citizen — she lives in a comfortable house and is married to James (Eddie Marsan), an affluent businessman.

As the pair grow closer, it becomes clear that Hannah’s seemingly easy life is anything but perfect. Trapped in a violent marriage, Hannah is as much as a lost soul as the broken stranger she tries to help.

Paddy Considine’s debut as a writer and director mirrors the tone of influential director Ken Loach. It is an in-your-face portrayal of the social layers seldom acknowledged by most directors — the underclass who rely on welfare and the bruised women who suffer behind closed doors.

Tyrannosaur is gritty piece of social realism with a glimmer of redemption at the end. While it is definitely not an ‘enjoyable’ viewing experience, it is a powerful and emotive film that leaves a hard lump at the back of your throat.

For cinema-goers who want something more involving than a fluffy drama or a feel-good romance, Tyrannosaur winner of Best Director and two Special Jury Prizes at Sundance 2011 — should be added to your ‘to-see’ list.

Tyrannosaur screens exclusively at Cinema Nova from Thursday 23 February.
For session times and tickets visit: www.cinemanova.com.au,

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