With Black Mass released this week and Kray brother movie, Legend released next week, it must be gangster season!
Johnny Depp breaks step with all that pirate nonsense and delivers his best performance in years as Irish-American organised crime boss, James ‘Whitey’ Bulger. In 1975 as an informant, Bulger enjoyed the protection of the FBI whilst supplying information the Feds used to take down his Italian rivals and allowed him to replace them as a kingpin in Boston. It was a charmed deal for Bulger until the mid nineties when the media blew the lid off this corrupt arrangement.
A barely recognisable Depp gives a transformative, cold, piercing performance. His intense, non-blinking gaze is reminiscent of Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lector or Daniel Henshall’s John Bunting in Snowtown. If Depp were not one of the most recognisable names on the planet, this would be his career-making performance.
Other recognisable faces come thick and fast: Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Adam Scott amongst many others – it’s enough to make a promising up ‘n’ coming actor cry! But all performances are great if overshadowed by Depp.
Black Mass is an excellent film about a fascinating moment in history. Highly recommended.