Filth is a 2013 British crime comedy-drama film written and directed by Jon S. Baird, based on Irvine Welsh's novel Filth. The film was released on 27 September 2013 in Scotland, 4 October 2013 elsewhere in the UK and Ireland, 30 May 2014 in the United States. It stars James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, and Jim Broadbent.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jon S. Baird|
|Screenplay by||Jon S. Baird|
by Irvine Welsh
|Music by||Clint Mansell|
|Edited by||Mark Eckersley|
|Distributed by||Lionsgate (UK)|
|Box office||$9.1 million|
Bruce Robertson is a Detective Sergeant in Edinburgh, Scotland who is a scheming, manipulative, misanthropic bully who spends his free time indulging in drugs, alcohol, abusive sexual relationships, and "the games" — his euphemism for the vindictive plots he hatches to cause trouble for people he dislikes, including many of his colleagues. Robertson also delights in bullying and taking advantage of his mild-mannered friend Clifford Blades, a member of Robertson's masonic lodge whose wife, Bunty, he repeatedly prank calls and asks for phone sex. The only people he shows any genuine warmth to are Mary and her young son, the widowed wife and child of a man whom Robertson tries and fails to resuscitate after he suffers a heart attack in the street.
As the story begins, Robertson's main goal is to gain a promotion to become Detective Inspector, the path to which appears to open when he is assigned to oversee the investigation into the murder of a Japanese exchange student. However, he slowly loses his grip on reality as he works the case and has a series of increasingly vivid hallucinations. It is ultimately revealed through dream-like exchanges with Dr. Rossi, his psychiatrist, that he is on medication for bipolar disorder and has repressed immense feelings of guilt over a childhood accident that led to the death of his younger brother. It also becomes clear that Carole, his wife, has left him and is denying him access to his daughter, Stacey, developments which sparked his desperate bid for promotion, played a part in his unusual displays of kindness toward Mary and her son, and have also led him to start cross-dressing as his wife when off duty in order to "keep her close" to him.
While wandering the streets on such an occasion, Robertson is kidnapped by a street gang led by the thuggish Gorman — who are responsible for the murder — and badly beaten. However, he manages to kill Gorman by throwing him through a window and is found by his colleagues. Robertson not only misses out on the promotion as a result of the events, but is in fact demoted to Constable and is reassigned to uniform, while rookie Ray Lennox is promoted to Detective Inspector. Afterwards, Blades receives a tape of Robertson apologising. Robertson then prepares to commit suicide by hanging himself, but is interrupted at the last moment by Mary and her son knocking at his front door. He then breaks the fourth wall and addresses the audience repeating his catchphrase — "Same rules apply" — and laughs as the chair slips from under him.
- James McAvoy as DS / PC Bruce Robertson
- Jamie Bell as DS / DI Ray Lennox
- Eddie Marsan as Clifford Blades
- Imogen Poots as DS / Acting DI Amanda Drummond
- Brian McCardie as DI / DCI Dougie Gillman
- Emun Elliott as DS Peter Inglis
- Gary Lewis as DS Gus Bain
- John Sessions as DCI / DSI Bob Toal
- Shauna Macdonald as Carole Robertson
- Jim Broadbent as Dr. Rossi
- Joanne Froggatt as Mary
- Kate Dickie as Chrissie
- Martin Compston as Graeme Gorman
- Iain De Caestecker as Ocky
- Shirley Henderson as Bunty Blades
- Jordan Young as Lexo
- Pollyanna McIntosh as Size Queen
- Bobby Rainsbury as Stephanie
- Zack Niizato as Japanese Student
- Ron Donachie as Hector
- Tracy-Ann Oberman as Diana
- Natasha O'Keeffe as Anna
- David Soul as Punter
- Joy McAvoy as Estelle
- Megan Finn as Stacey Robertson
- Robin Laing as Rent Boy
Welsh's novel was published in 1998, but over the following years the project was passed between producers and acquired a reputation of being "un-filmable".
The film earned £250,000 in box office revenue during its opening weekend in Scotland, reaching number one in the charts. It grossed £842,167 ($1.4m) in the following weekend, when it went on general release throughout the United Kingdom. The film ultimately ended up grossing $9.1 million worldwide.
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Rotten Tomatoes reports that 63% of 86 critics gave the film positive reviews, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Warped, grimy and enthusiastically unpleasant, Filth lives up to its title splendidly." The film also has a score of 56 on Metacritic based on 24 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Taste of Cinema praised it in their list of Scottish Movies.
- "FILTH (18)". Lions Gate Entertainment. British Board of Film Classification. 15 July 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
- "Filth (2013)". The Numbers. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1450321/releaseinfo?ref_=tt_dt_dt[better source needed]
- Ford, Matt (11 September 2013). "Irvine Welsh: The 'unfilmable' Filth finally makes it to the big screen". The Independent. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
- "Filth tops Scottish box office". The Scotsman. 30 September 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Sandwell, Ian (7 October 2013). "Prisoners locks in UK box office lead". www.screendaily.com. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Filth at Rotten Tomatoes
- Filth at Metacritic
- Lyng, Eoghan (2015). "The Fifteen Greatest Scottish Movies Of All Time". Retrieved 12 January 2018.