About the Production
In a nervy, brash, one-of-a-kind comedic performance, Jude Law introduces the world to
DOM HEMINGWAY -- steely London safecracker, hell-bent hedonist, profane pontificator and
legendary live wire -- as he hits the streets after 12 years in jail for keeping his mouth shut and
protecting his boss. Now, Dom's ready to unleash everything and collect what he's owed. But when
his long-awaited payday doesn't go as planned, Dom tries to reconnect with his long lost daughter --
only to be tempted again by the three things Dom Hemingway knows how to do best: cracking safes,
busting heads, and breaking hearts.
Law -- a two-time Oscar nominee for COLD MOUNTAIN and THE TALENTED MR.
RIPLEY -- underwent a total transformation into the manic yet paradoxically poignant role. With a
dart-player's paunch, broken nose, lamb-chop sideburns, bad teeth and a nasty scar running beneath a
blood-red eye, it is hard to believe that beneath Dom's disheveled exterior and sportive contempt lies
the same actor famed across the globe as a romantic lead.
Law spared nothing to get at the sheer, larger-than-life Dom-ness of Dom Hemingway.
"He's an explosive, poetic, scary, yet strangely funny man," Law muses. "He's what we all are in our
essence, this sort of weird make up of good and bad, but on a more expansive level."
The high-voltage comedy of the character first came to life in the mind of writer/director
Richard Shepard, known for the acclaimed, Golden Globe-nominated THE MATADOR, his witty,
surprising twist on the hit-man thriller starring Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear in stand-out roles.
Once again, Shepard spins a tale of crime with a wildly original point of view: that of a
chronically luck-less criminal who is audacious, violent and vengeful, yet embodies all the appetites,
contradictions and frenzied angst of modern life. In a journey that careens from a British prison to the
South of France to a criminal wager with his manhood on the line, Shepard explores Dom as the
ultimate human paradox. For no matter how much sacrilegious mayhem he spreads wherever he goes,
the audience can't help but hope, however improbably, for his redemption.
The film was brought to the screen by renowned independent producer Jeremy Thomas, who
took the script on a Christmas holiday to Australia. Thomas loved it, and when he returned, made
sure he optioned the rights. Together with Richard Shepard, they made the film in twelve months.
Thomas had previously produced two distinctive variations on the dark crime movie, each with
ferocious and funny central characters: Jonathan Glazer's SEXY BEAST and Stephen Frears' THE
HIT. "There's a great tradition of smart, slightly-off crime thrillers -- movies with a criminal
undertone, yet are really about fascinating human characters," observes Shepard. "I love those
movies and I hope that DOM fits somewhere in that category."
Thomas intuited that DOM HEMINGWAY would indeed enter that territory, and then push it
to the edge of a cliff. "One could easily say DOM HEMINGWAY is a genre film about a man
coming out of jail, but it's far more than that," the producer says. "For me, it transcends that to
become a story told in a very different way with extraordinary dialogue unlike anything I've heard.
It's entertaining in a way that is a bit shocking. That's the sort of film to which I'm often very
attracted; and I thought it could be an incredible movie."
"Despite Dom shooting himself in the foot at every turn - you like him," says Shepard.
"He has his own ways of dealing with things and most of the time they get him in trouble.
He's volatile and dangerous, but he's also funny. That combination makes for interesting cinema
because while people like him, they don't necessarily feel safe with him. There's a sense that he
could do anything. He could punch someone. He could start to cry or be profane. All of these things
give the movie its energy. Dom is a devilish rascal of a man, yet deep down he has a real beating
heart that starts to beat again by the end of the movie."
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