On the 5th March this year, I watched a movie that made me want to cry. Made me look around the cinema looking for the ghost of Jeremy Beadle with a big fake moustache and a camera in hand. I was so sure that “One For The Money” was a joke and not a movie that I spent the first 15 minutes thinking it was a prank. Sadly for me and the other 6 people in the cinema, it was not. As a would-be screenwriter who is told many times over that Hollywood is almost impossible to break into, and that getting your film off the ground and into the cinema is a long and difficult process, I sat there thinking “How did this shit get made?”. You don’t need to be a script-doctor or an experienced film-maker to see how dire it was. And “Elfie Hopkins” is sadly another.
The story is not exactly inspiring – a young and aspiring detective investigates the mysterious goings on with her neighbours, set in some rich sleepy village where everyone goes hunting and rides horses and wears jodpurs. If it sounds like an Agatha Christie / Miss Marple story, then you wouldn’t be far wrong. So with a weak story you would then be hoping for good acting. Step forward Jaime Winstone. Outstanding in “Kidulthood”, and with dad Ray on producing duties, you think this film is in safe hands. Hands that know how to act. But no. If they ever give awards for over-acting (Oscars, BAFTAS) then Jaime Winstone will win hands down. With an accent that makes me want her to have a good cough she frowns and screws her face up all the way through the movie. One minute she spies the neighbours moving in, the next it’s “Dylan, the investigation is on!”. Why? For the life of me I could not see anything mysterious about people moving in. So before you know it, there is our Elfie and side-kick Dylan, looking through their neighbours bins in the next scene (no, it’s not a comedy, your not supposed to laugh).
From the hammy cameo from Ray Winstone as a butcher to the ludicrous plot revelation that the neighbours are *pause* cannibals, that same thought creeps back into your mind – “How the hell did this shit get made?”. The answer is no doubt down to Ray Winstone’s support and backing of the movie, but if this is the cream of British script talent, then guys, we have a chance of getting our scripts made – because nothing can be as bad as this movie. Rating – 2/10. And it only gets a 2 because I have a soft spot for women in jodpurs. Only watch if you have to.