Sunday, March 13, 2011

THE KISS OF DEATH (1977) - Mike Leigh

In The Kiss of Death, Mike Leigh tinkers with the awkward romantic fumblings of gawky mortician's assistant, Trevor. This guy might be the most curious social misfit he's featured apart from Ewen Bremmer's undecipherable spastic "Archie" in Naked. But Trevor isn't prone to violent outbursts or Gaelic-infused profanity. He's mostly just a space cadet with an occasional, disturbing British hillbilly laugh. At a lean 74 minutes, this is definitely one of Leigh's slighter efforts, both in scope and character, a minor character study of a guy who's not much more than an acne-dotted cipher. Kay Adshead as his pseudo romantic interest, Linda, is the one to watch here. A brilliant compendium of hair tosses, chewing gum smacks and cheeky sexual gamesmanship, she is definitely the life of the death-obsessed party.

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