The Loophole

Gordon’s (McAvoy) first Christmas behind bars is fast approaching. While serving time for what he calls “an unfortunate incident in a soup kitchen- fuck off, it wasn‘t my fault” among a crew of seasoned, disillusioned inmates, Gordon resolves to show his cynical new friends the true meaning of Christmas: bad relatives, brandy butter and the alternative Christmas speech. There’s just one problem: All three are banned here.

Enter Dodge and Dave (Carlyle and Ifans), prison’s miracle workers with hearts of whatever has the greatest going rate. They can get anything, do anything… except break out of the place.
Can they outwit the beyond-paranoid guard Sharp (Broadbent), who has an unhealthy obsession with prison break movies? Can a wing full of sexually frustrated men act out a nativity scene- angels, virgin Mary and all? Can a foul-mouthed tale set behind bars ever turn into a heart-warming life-affirming story? Danny Boyle fearlessly said yes to all three.

Although some critics maintain that the film’s loose basis on Christmas in prison is so loose it could drop off at any moment, for the vast majority of viewers who haven’t known that experience, “The Loophole” looks set to become a Christmas favourite. The running time of 159 minutes may seem a little daunting but by the end, you’ll wish it had been longer.

Keep an eye out for Dawn French’s cameo appearance as Tea-break, the adult educator with an unusual extra-curricular activity in mind…!

by Roswell Ivory

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