Ray Winstone plays a hardman with a difference in this well-acted family drama
★★★½ ITV, starts Sunday, 30 August, 9pm
IN THE ROLE that made him a star, as young offender Carlin in 1979’s Scum, Ray Winstone rose to the top of a brutal prison system to emerge as the Daddy. It’s ironic that now in middle age he’s back playing a thug, but this time he’s the Grandaddy, and a bit of a has-been.
Which makes for a good role for Winstone. The actor is apparently wary of gangster roles, aware that his hardman actor image might be seen as an easy option, but he was won over by Jimmy Rose because the story is about family and making a new start. While he’s never going to win us over with his Richard III or playing lord la-di-da, when he’s in the zone – Nil by Mouth, Sexy Beast – he is bloody good screen company.
These days he shifts between TV and movies, from The Departed to Great Expectations, Moonfleet to the upcoming remake of Point Break. It’s good to see him back on the box now, with the opening episode of ITV’s three-parter setting up an intriguing story for his lead character.
Ray Winstone sings Sinatra
We meet Jimmy Rose as he emerges from a 12-year stretch inside. The opening moments, with Winstone singing his own tribute to Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life for the soundtrack, is upbeat.
The twist comes as soon as he gets home, with the welcoming party falling flat. His granddaughter Ellie is not around, his son Joe doesn’t want to see him and his wife Jackie has no time for him. Amanda Redman, looking like a proper actress again after sleepwalking through New Tricks for the last couple of seasons, plays Jackie. She and Winstone are old friends from the time they co-starred in Sexy Beast (2000) and she complements him well as the woman with whom he has seen better days. [Read more…]