Paddy Considine, whose 12-year career in film began with a bruising performance in Shane Meadows’ 1999 coming-of-age drama “A Room for Romeo Brass,” has spent enough time on movie sets to recognize promise.
And so he did with “Tyrannosaur,” his directorial feature debut about a widower hopelessly consumed by rage.
Considine, 37, is satisfied with the script he wrote in little more than a week, inspired by his 2007 short “Dog Altogether.” He even loves the movie poster. But he had misgivings about the title.
“I told my wife I didn’t know if I should keep it,” says the native of Staffordshire, England, perhaps best known for his supporting turn in 2007’s “The Bourne Ultimatum.”
But, he adds, “It’s a great title — if you see the film you’ll understand it. It’s the kind of movie that dares to do that. That might not be enough for people who didn’t like ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ ’cause there weren’t enough dogs in it, but some people are stupid.”
Considine maintains he needs to “just do my thing” without worrying how it’s perceived by the masses. He’s not particularly concerned whether “Tyrannosaur,” playing at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, meets with their approval.
Still, the movie, a surprisingly tender love story set in an unrelentingly violent world, has been widely hailed as a revelation, both for its uncompromising performances and the director’s obvious affection for his characters.
While Considine appreciates “Tyrannosaur” most as a means of exorcising the frustrations he’s known most of his life, he didn’t always enjoy shooting it.
He filmed a pivotal scene, in which Eddie Marsan’s abusive husband attacks Olivia Colman’s long-suffering wife, in two takes, because he couldn’t bear to put his actors through the emotional wringer one more time.
“My biggest fear in all of this is that I never wanted to use scenes [like that] to shock,” he says. “I don’t want it to seem like I did. The point of this movie was to explore love, redemption and all the face judgments people make. I wanted to play with those perceptions.
“I wanted to examine the lives of people trapped in extreme situations, who become soulmates despite the class divide that would make it unlikely they’d even know each other in the first place. I seem to be attracted to those people.”
Starring Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan
Written and directed by Paddy Considine
Running time 1 hour 31 minutes