Best Laid Plans (DVD)

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Best Laid Plans (DVD)

BEST LAID PLANS, staring Stephen Graham (This Is England, Boardwalk Empire, Gangs Of New York) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, The Bourne Identity...

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Review of "Best Laid Plans (DVD)"

published 20/03/2017 | sellerleygirl
Member since : 15/02/2015
Reviews : 976
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About me :
Pro Great acting from the main roles
Cons Cage fighting is a likttle graphic
Did you enjoy it?
Characters / Performances
Special Effects

""We're gonna get a little place.""

Best Laid Plans (DVD)

Best Laid Plans (DVD)

:-•- Best Laid Plans-•-:

:-• DVD Review -•-:

:-• Tagline -•-:

Some Friendships are worth fighting for

:-• Genre -•-:

• Drama
:-• Film-•-:

'Best Laid Plans' is a 2012 British film, not to be confused with the earlier 2000 film of the same name, starring Reese Witherspoon. The film was released to just a few select cinemas on 3 February 2012 and on DVD just 3 weeks later.
Directed by David Blair, 'Best Laid Plans' is loosely based on John Steinbeck's book, 'Of Mice and Men'.

Film Details

Directed by David Blair
Produced by Brad Moore and Stacey Murray
Written by Chris Green and Jeremy Sheldon
Music by Rob Lane
Cinematography by Ali Asad
Prod Companies MoliFilms and Made Up North Productions in association with AV Pictures
:-• The Story •-:

“And I get to tend the rabbits”

“Best Laid Plans” is roughly inspired by John Steinbeck’s novel ‘Of Mice and Men’. Set in Nottingham, it concentrates around the relationship between Danny (played by Stephen Graham), a small-time chancer – a typical yet endearing Scouse scoundrel that blends invisibly into his place and his unlikely friend Joseph (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) – a giant mentally disabled man, who’s colossal frame belies his naïve, childlike personality.

In debt to the psychotic local gang boss Curtis (played by David O’Hara), Danny is forced to hire out his gentle giant of a friend as an illegal cage fighter to Curtis, to settle a debt.
The more that Joseph is forced to fight, the more Danny gets to question his own motivations. Despite that fact that Joseph wins his fights, it seems like Curtis is very unlikely to let Danny and Joseph go free. When the two unlikely friends fall for two completely different women, it becomes apparent that they have to make a choice before it is too late.
All that both Danny and Joseph want is to escape the squalid life they are living; but will Joseph's dream of a camper-van and limitless fishing ever be realised?

:-• The Main Cast •-:

Stephen Graham as Danny
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Joseph
Maxine Peake as Isabel
Emma Stansfield as Lisa
David O'Hara as Curtis
Stuart Wolfenden as Pete
Sarah Parks as Marriane
Peter Wight as Roger
Lee Ingleby as Deano
Brad Moore as John
:-• My Opinion •-:

When I saw the DVD cover for “Best Laid Plans” it looked like that it was going to be a Danny Dyer, Vinnie Jones type British film, so I wasn’t sure that I was going to enjoy it or not, but I do like a British film and usually enjoy works with Stephen Graham and Maxine Peak in, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt - and I am glad that I did!
Like George and Lenny in Steinbeck’s novel, this film is about the friendship between two completely different men (different in age, colour and mentality); and despite the illegal cage fights giving the film its brutal aspect, the film, actually has very little to do with actual fighting, as it is mostly about relationships.

The cast are all brilliant, with Stephen Graham standing out as he gives a wonderful performance as Danny, a small-time, mostly unlucky scouse crook, who, curious as it may seem, cares for the man mountain, Joseph, who suffers with some mental disability. He portrays Danny as being fearful, selfish, weak and - occasionally – a little cruel; but all the time he is continually dedicated to Joseph. In trying to protect Joseph from things he doesn’t understand, Danny is actually the person to blame for them.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is completely believable as the unintelligent but huge hearted Joseph, his performance is intense and sweet
The film shows how the two entirely different men fall for two completely different women; Danny falls for a stunning call girl, Lisa (played by Emma Stansfield), while Joseph is heavily attracted to Isabel (played by Maxine Peak), also a mentally unstable woman, whom he saves from the street hooligans.
Maxine Peake's Isobel is matched nicely with Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s performance as Danny – she gives a delicately effective and sympathetic performance as Isabel. As soon as Peake’s character enters the film, along with her parents who are encouraging the romance she has with Joseph, it takes the film to a new level; and when Isabel's mother points out Danny could apply for carers allowance for all that he does to look after Joseph, I thought that we were going to have one big happy family - especially when Danny falls in love with Lisa.

Obviously, the title of the film (and the couple of Steinbeck quotes I have thrown in for good measure) does give us source of the story; and in many ways, 'Best Laid Plans' is an interesting interpretation of John Steinbeck’s novel in a modern setting.
My only problem with the film is some of the ways that mental illness is dealt with: I realise that this is a tricky subject matter to deal with and I know that there are people who do exploit these people. However off, I didn't like to see a man with such severe learning difficulties to be forced into violence and I disliked more the line about Lenny and Isabel ‘two mongs don’t make a right.’ A line which seemed to go against what the rest of what the film was preaching.

All in all though, I did enjoy this gritty little British film that seems to have been completely overlooked. Some great acting from the lead roles carried the film, and yes, there are some bloody fights, a few brief sex scenes and lots of cursing, but this is no ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking - as the film’s tagline says – some friendships are worth fighting for.
:-• Ratings •-:

• IMDb:6.3/10 from 1.390 votes
• Rotten Tomatoes: 50% on 6 reviews

:-• Critics •-:

• The Guardian: "A promising cast and some good intentions are put to waste in this unconvincing Brit flick about small-time crooks"

• Time Out: "This might be uneven, but it’s well filmed, with a clutch of affecting scenes – a more thoughtful affair than your average Brit fight flick."

:-• DVD •-:

The single disc came in a plastic side-snapped keep case
The picture and sound are both sharp but there are very few extras just a short piece entitled ‘On set with Best Laid Plans’ and a photo gallery.

As of 20/03/17 ‘Best Laid Plans ‘can be purchased from Amazon from £0.99 new and from £0.14 used. Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK and are if you have a Prime account, if neither of these apply add £1.26 for postage
Amazon are currently offering £1.00 credit to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase a DVD or Blu-ray offered by A maximum of 1 credit per customer applies.
Offer ends at 23:59 GMT on Wednesday, December 20, 2017
The film is also available on Netflix or from iTunes.


Format: PAL
Language: English
Dubbed: English
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
Region: Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: 15
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: 20 Feb. 2012
Run Time: 108 minutes
:-• In Conclusion •-:

I would recommend that you ignore the negative American reviews on this film and give it a watch; this is very much a British film – underplayed and full of Northern grit except, with a well-crafted storyline and some superb acting. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Maxine Peake are wonderful playing the two mentally disabled characters – they play their parts sensitively.
This is a relationship and character driven film rather than the action film which the DVD cover tends to suggest, so anyone who is looking for an action film will be disappointed. For those though, that enjoy a good gritty drama, this film is sure to please.

Thanks for reading, I hope that you have found this review useful

•:¦:-•© Sellerleygirl March 2017 -•-:¦:•

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 23/03/2017
    e :o)
  • kiss_me2070 published 23/03/2017
    Nicely reviewed.
  • catsholiday published 22/03/2017
    Great review
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Product Information : Best Laid Plans (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

BEST LAID PLANS, staring Stephen Graham (This Is England, Boardwalk Empire, Gangs Of New York) and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (Lost, The Bourne Identity, G.I. Joes The Rise Of Cobra). Centres around the bonds of friendship, and how loyalty and love can be tested under the most extreme and violent circumstances. David Blair directs.


Listed on Ciao since: 08/12/2011