What Richard Did

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“Seriously good… It’s a morality tale which trusts the audience to deduce the moral.” — Anthony Quinn, The Independent

Year: 2012
Country: Ireland
Running time: 87 mins
Censor Rating: R13 - violence, offensive language, sex scenes
Genres: Justice

Producer: Ed Guiney
Screenplay: Malcolm Campbell. Based on the book Bad Day in Blackrock by Kevin Power
Photography: David Grennan
Editor: Nathan Nugent
Production designer: Stephanie Clerkin
Costume designer: Leonie Prendergast
Music: Stephen Rennicks

With: Jack Reynor (Richard), Róisín Murphy (Lara), Sam Keeley (Conor), Lars Mikkelsen (Peter)

Irish teenager Richard Karlsen (quietly sensational Jack Reynor) has it all: he’s handsome, well-off, a college rugby star, loved by his family and admired by his friends.  When his new girlfriend shows some concern for the boy she just dumped, Richard’s violent, drunken jealousy puts him at the centre of a police investigation. As friends and family – not least his stricken father – scramble to reassert the privilege that has accrued to the young master and protect him from any exacting scrutiny, he’s left to wrestle alone with his own excruciating fall from grace.

Director Lenny Abrahamson dramatises the social and moral issues with a keen naturalistic eye for a prosperous Dublin enclave we’re not accustomed to seeing on screen. Previously the basis of Kevin Power’s novel Bad Day in Blackrock, it’s no stretch to imagine middle-class families the world over responding to universal instincts that emerge in the face of this teenage catastrophe.

 “Abrahamson has discovered something remarkable in 19-year-old Jack Reynor, whose Boyzone blue eyes mask true acting chops. Grabbing hold of a very tricky role, he offers a precise, beautifully modulated performance, shifting from a self-assured but always likable teen to a conflicted, cornered young man staring down the barrel of a bleak future…

Abrahamson has pulled off something quietly remarkable: a study of morality which never feels like a treatise, a bracingly realistic film about teenagers which never becomes patronising and a gripping melodrama which swerves sentiment. He may also have unearthed a genuine star.” — Tom Huddleston, Time Out London

Festivals: Toronto, London 2012