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Big Nothing is a black comedy/neo-noir film directed by Jean-Baptiste Andrea starring David Schwimmer and Simon Pegg. It was released in December 2006, and had its premiere at Cardiff Film Festivalmarker in November 2006.

Big Nothing was filmed on the Isle of Manmarker and in Walesmarker at Barrymarker in the Vale of Glamorganmarker and at Caerwentmarker and other areas of Monmouthshire. Other scenes were at Squamish, British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker.

Plot

The intro starts with the song Engel by Rammstein being played.

The film is set in a small Oregonmarker town, where a brutal serial killer nicknamed the 'Oregon undertaker' has been murdering and mutilating young women.

Charlie (David Schwimmer) is an ex-teacher turned disaffected call center employee who's fired on his first day. Distraught on being unable to provide for his daughter Emily and policewoman wife Penelope (Natascha McElhone), he's approached by former colleague Gus (Simon Pegg), an aspiring scam artist who presents Charlie with a seemingly snag-free plan to make some cash: blackmail Reverend Smalls who, despite being a man of the cloth, has frequently turned up in the company database of visitors to illegal porn websites. Gus plans on extorting money from Reverend Smalls, with the intention of publicly exposing his secret shame should he refuse to pay up. Normally cautious Charlie reluctantly agrees to play a part in the scam, confident that with the money he'll garner from the deal he'd be able to turn things around for him and his family. When proud former teenage pageant queen Josie McBroom (Alice Eve) , Gus's scheming one-night stand, muscles in on the deal, their plan goes ahead.

Josie convinces Charlie and Gus that she should make the call to Smalls, on the grounds that if either of them called, the police could trace their voices and connect them to their jobs at the call center. She makes the call, but changes the deal by not asking for the original planned amount of $100,000, but instead for $200,000. Gus organizes an alibi where Charlie explains that his car had broken down to the bar manager, and that Gus, who is really at the Reverend's house collecting the money, went to the 24/7 gas station, owned by a blind man, as the blind man wouldn't be able to say he saw or didn't see Gus at the store.

The plan goes into action, and Gus goes to Smalls' house where he is surprised by the Reverend, wielding a gun. From outside the house, two shots are heard. At the same time, Charlie explains the alibi at the bar, only to find out that the blind owner of the gas station is sitting right next to him; it was his 80th birthday. Charlie runs away and goes to Smalls' house, where he finds the Reverend dead. Scared, he drags the body outside, and dumps him into a nearby septic tank. He goes back inside the house, tries to call Josie, and upon finding Gus leaving the bathroom, learns that the Reverend shot Gus in the leg, explaining the blood near the corpse. After the first shot, Gus hit the Reverend over the head with a vase, leaving him alive but unconscious. Gus and Charlie leave the house to escape the scene of the crime, but Charlie remembers that he left Josie's card inside. They go back and get it, but in the process Gus stumbles upon a hidden DVD collection of the Reverend. They put one in, and find a video of the Reverend killing and cutting up a young girl. They try to flee the house, but are immediately met by a deputy police officer outside the door. The policeman explains that the Reverend was found dead, with three bullet holes in his head.

Charlie lets the policeman inside, who notices some blood on the floor. Charlie, in the kitchen, grabs a knife and cuts himself, and then goes back to the policeman to explain that he cut himself on a vase. Right before leaving, the policeman decides to see what Charlie had been watching, much to Charlie's protests. He presses play, and watches the beginning of a children's movie Gus had secretly switched in. Satisfied, he leaves the house, but finds marks in the ground that look like someone had been dragged. Charlie follows the policeman to the end of the drag marks, the septic tank. As Charlie is about to open it, Gus smashes a vase against the deputy's head, who is promptly dragged inside.

Inside, Charlie freaks out about the murder of the Reverend and the kidnapping of a policeman and leaves, where he is met by the Reverend's wife, who has a gun pointed at Charlie. They go back inside, where she explains that she shot the Reverend, and that she was going to meet her lover, Max, at the house so they could collect their $2,000,000 the real Reverend had left. Gus and Charlie explain that Max will not be seeing her, and she asks them where the 2 million dollars are, pointing a gun at the tied-up policeman. They frantically try to say that they don't know anything about the money, and right before she is about to shoot the deputy, Josie comes in and lodges an axe in the wife's head. As Charlie and Gus talk over what's been happening, Josie finds the money hidden in the Reverend's oven, and calls Charlie and Gus over. As they're looking at the stacks of hundred dollar bills, they hear cries of "help" from outside. The deputy has escaped through the front door, and, rolling himself along, is soon caught by the three. In his rolling, the deputy drops his badge, which Charlie picks up and puts in his pocket. They agree to dispose of the body of the wife, but the policeman, still alive, asks to use the restroom. Inside, he tries to escape through a window by jumping on the toilet, but slips, breaking his skull on the toilet, killing himself.

Charlie, Gus, and Josie hide the bodies in suitcases and drive away to dispose of them, but soon get into an argument. Charlie finds out that Gus, who had originally said he needed the money for his daughter's cornea operation, doesn't really have a daughter, and punches him. In this small fight, they nearly get into an accident with a fat man, who tries to call the police, but is bribed by Gus to not do so. Charlie, Gus, and Josie drive away and get to their disposal point, only to find that one of the bodies is missing. They drive back and hit the Reverend's wife, who had jumped out of the car and was trying to get help. As they look over the body, two police officers show up, one of them being Charlie's wife, and quickly see the body. Charlie's wife tries to call her deputy, but it goes to voicemail, as her deputy is dead in the trunk of their car, unbeknown to her. Josie hurriedly patches up an alibi, but the three are taken to the station, where a special agent is waiting. This agent happens to be the fat man the three almost got into an accident with, and examines the body with Gus and Josie, immediately patching together everything that happened, to Gus and Josie's horror. In the waiting room, Charlie finds his daughter asleep, who couldn't be left alone at the house and was brought by his wife, and gives her his coat. Charlie, Gus, and Josie drive to a tar pit, where they plan to dispose of the bodies, but they find that the special agent has been following them. He gets angry at Gus for calling him fat before, and Gus swipes and stabs him with an insulin needle in the foot. The agent throws the gun up, which is caught by Charlie, who then points the gun at the agent. The agent then reveals that Josie is actually the Wyoming Widow; a murderer who befriended men and killed them with a small bit of whiskey, laced with highly concentrated Thallium. She disregards it as nonsense, but Charlie and Gus make her empty her pockets, where they find the tell-tale flask of poison whiskey. They make her drink some, and she pretends to die, but begins laughing at their foolishness, as it isn't poisoned at all. They check for the agent, but he has disappeared, so they go out looking for him. Gus goes back to the car and tries to hide the money, but is caught by the agent, who complains of his lack of payment for what he does. He shoots Gus twice, killing him, and gets the money. In the mean time, Charlie's wife finds the badge of her deputy in her husband's coat, but drives to a bridge and throws it off, removing the evidence.

The agent runs to his car, but is surprised by Josie, who was waiting in the back seat. They make him eat a very large sugary lollipop, highly dangerous because of his diabetes, and soon have him dead. Charlie remarks on what monsters they have become, and is then faced by Josie, who has a gun trained on his head. She explains that she really is the Wymoning Widow, and the gives him the choice of the bullet or the poisoned whiskey. Charlie tells her not to spend all the money in one place, and drinks the whiskey, dying quickly. She goes through the bag, only to find the money replaced by Charlie's daughter's stuffed animals. His daughter, at home, is seen drawing with marker on some of the hundred dollar bills next to several large stacks of money.

Josie tries to hitchhike a ride away from Oregon, and finally gets one from an old man. The old man goes to the back to "check on something", and Josie takes out the poisoned whiskey. The old man covers a bloody leg with a tarp(where it is revealed he is the Oregon undertaker), and goes back into the truck to drive away with Josie.

Cast & Crew

Cast

Actor Role
David Schwimmer Charlie
Simon Pegg Gus
Alice Eve Josie McBroom
Jon Polito Agent Hymes
Natascha McElhone Penelope Wood
Mimi Rogers Mrs Smalls
Billy Asher Deputy Garman
Olivia Peterson Emily


Crew



  • David Ball .... line producer
  • Steve Christian .... executive producer
  • Berenice Fugard .... co-producer
  • Andras Hamori .... producer
  • François Ivernel .... executive producer
  • Linda James .... executive producer
  • Lacia Kornylo .... co-producer
  • Tracy Long .... line producer
  • Cameron McCracken .... executive producer
  • Gabriella Stollenwerck .... producer


Production and Release

Big Nothing was filmed over thirty-two days in January 2006, and had its world premiere at the Cardiff Film Festival on November 18 2006. Released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on December 1st 2006, the film had its European market release on March 15 2006, but was never released in cinemas in America. Rather, it was released on DVD on 12 June 2007.

Reception

Critical

Empire gave the film three stars, commenting that "the tone shift is a little too extreme for mainstream success, but Schwimmer and Pegg provide a solid, blackly comic centre to an original crime caper." The BBC also gave the film three out of five stars, praising Pegg and Schwimmer's performances, particuary noting that Pegg had "reinvented himself" with his role.

Yahoo Movies praised the film, giving it a very positive review and calling it "slick, sharp and smartly underplayed - Big Nothing amounts to quite a bit in the end."

The movie is largely based on the 1992 Belgian film Man Bites Dog

Box Office

Big Nothing did not prove overly successful at the box office, grossing £83,829 in its first weekend in the UK, after release in 101 cinemas, a failure to redeem its estimated £3,000,000 ($8,000,000) budget.

External links



References

  1. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0488085/releaseinfo
  2. http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/review.asp?DVDID=117585
  3. http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2006/11/27/big_nothing_2006_review.shtml#rating
  4. http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/b/Big-Nothing/review-3243806.html
  5. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0488085/business



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