Wild Bill (2011)
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Movie InfoOut on parole after 8 years inside, Bill Hayward returns home to find his now 11 and 15-year old sons abandoned by their mother and fending for themselves. Unwilling to play Dad, his arrival brings them to the attention of social services. With the danger of being put into care looming, Dean forces his Dad to stay by threatening to grass him up for dealing. Dean soon connects with Jimmy and through this new bond starts to realize what he's been missing. He has a family and a place in the world, but when Jimmy gets into trouble with Bill's old cohorts, he quickly has to decide what kind of Dad he wants to be. A good one, or a free one. … More
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Critic Reviews for Wild Bill
There's no faulting Fletcher's unfussy, quietly impressive directorial style. A solid start.
With a concept and influences consciously in mind; fine performances by Creed-Miles, Poulter, and Williams; and approving cameos...Fletcher is able to put his best foot forward in this creditable debut.
There's a lot more to this likeable crime flick than your usual dunderheaded Danny Dyer vehicle.
An unusually affecting movie, with pitch-perfect comic moments, a lot of heart, and a beautiful final shot that acts as a crowning achievement for Creed-Miles.
The direction by Dexter Fletcher to illicit the very strong performances by the juvenile actors, is a testament to his current strengths as a director
Dexter Fletcher doesn't overplay the cowboy angle. Instead, he puts most of his efforts into creating a believable dynamic between the father and his sons, and it's in this tangled skein of shyness, suspicion, loyalty and love that the film's heart lies.
It wears its lion heart firmly on its sleeve with bouts of good humour and sense, making it impossible not to be drawn into its rugged charm.
Suspenseful, exhilarating and genuinely moving, galvanised by strong performances and breathlessly orchestrated action sequences.
Gripping, intense and with a razor-sharp wit, this marks Fletcher as one to watch.
Why can't all British crime dramas be so well written and well acted, and have a splash of comedy as confident as this?
Directed with flair by Fletcher, Wild Bill is more affecting family drama than conventional gangster pic and it's an outstanding achievement.
Fletcher has fashioned a deft, likeable addition to a crowded genre, the cockney comedy thriller. It will be good to see how he fares when he moves on.
The story won't win awards for originality but Fletcher has created a film that's both charming and true to life.
There's more than enough good stuff here to whet the appetite for Fletcher's follow‑up.
Works well when it sticks to its filial bonding story, but falters when it brings on singularly unconvincing neighbourhood drug dealers in an attempt to increase tension.
An impressive directorial debut from Dexter Fletcher, thanks to a superb script, heartfelt characters, a great soundtrack and terrific performances from a fine ensemble cast.
Overall, Fletcher should be as pleased as punch with his debut efforts.
One of the best British films of the year, from the mind of Dexter Fletcher, who emerges from his presenting/acting days as an exciting new writing/directorial voice.
While eschewing the mockney flash of his Lock, Stock mucker Guy Ritchie, Fletcher's kitchen sink is brighter than most, filled more with Shane Meadows brass than Ken Loach gloom.
Audience Reviews for Wild Bill
I can't stand the archetype cliched South London geezer/gangsta/council estate film. The last time it was done well was Nil by Mouth (not including films like Harry Brown or Attack the Block which were really about other things). Luckily this is the film that bucks the trend. Sure, there are unfortunate stereotypes in this film that do detracted but they are small niggles compared to the wonderful emotion that is delivered from the main characters. I'm sorry to say I didn't like Will Poulter very much in this, he tried too hard and is really more of a character actor but everyone else does a good job. It's Charlie Creed-Miles who really makes the film though, it's about time he had a lead role and he is absolutely superb. Dexter Fletcher hasn't done too badly either in his debut, some of the shots (like the paper aeroplane scene) are very professional. All round, this is the British films we should be making that are unfortunately often overlooked by crap horrors and shite comedies.More
It's pretty much inevitable that throughout each year a British working class drama will make an appearance. What's surprising about them though, it that whoever steps behind the camera, they seem to find some more mileage and deliver something different from a now tiring formula. Paddy Considine done it last year in "Tyrannosaur" and now (another) actor turned director Dexter Fletcher does it with this.
"Wild" Bill Hayward (Charlie Creed-Miles) has just been released from prison. He heads back to his home where he finds that his partner has abandoned his children in his absence, leaving his 15 year old son Dean (Will Poulter) and 11 year old Jimmy (Sammy Williams) fending for themselves. When there is a threat of them being taken into care, Bill reluctantly decides to stick around but his youngest has got involved in drug dealing, dragging Bill back into the life he's been trying to avoid.
I'll be honest in my judgement of this film beforehand; I was expecting another attempt at ripping off Guy Ritchie and the success of his film's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch". I'm happy to say that wasn't the case here. Sure, this film possesses a similar gritty feel and similar touches of humour but Fletcher has crafted a very personal film that has an appeal of it's own. This doesn't follow the conventions of the British crime flick but delivers a touching and heartfelt family drama. It also pays homage to the classic western in a very understated and clever way; apart from the title itself, the main character of Bill has a tattoo of a Sheriff badge on his chest; he refuses to be run out of town and stares down the local nasties - climaxing in a bar room (saloon) showdown where it becomes apparent why he has received his moniker. All the elements are here and writer/director Fletcher does well in managing them with a subtlety without losing track of the job at hand. Despite the downbeat, and sometimes threatening characters and dysfunctional family element, there is a lightness of touch to be found here and the whole cast deliver memorable shows. Ultimately though, it comes to the leading man himself; Charlie Creed-Miles. A lot of people may be unaware of this highly underrated actor's talents but he had previously delivered excellent supporting roles in Gary Oldman's directorial debut "Nil By Mouth" and Luc Besson's "The Fifth Element".
Whether or not this film gets him more work remains to be seen but he's certainly deserving of it and shows impressive range here as a decent hearted father with an underlying protective ferocity.
This is a film that manages to juggle several themes and moods and marks a very successful debut from Dexter Fletcher. I only hope that more of an audience get to see this little gem.
Wild Bill is one of the most overlooked films of 2012. It contains a good cast and a well written story that you will be invest to see til end credits roll.
Wild Bill centers around Bill Hayward who we meet upon his release from prison on The Isle of Wight following an eight year stretch for various transgressions in his early life. Bill returns to his home in East London to find that his two young sons have been abandoned by their mother and are now trying to cope on their own whilst avoiding the gaze of social services.
The plot here solid balancing family drama and humor with ease. Character development is the strongest aspect here as we are given enough time to relate to the characters and sympathise with them. These character feel realistic acting the way actual people would in this kind of situation. Seeing the title character embraced his responsibilities as a father is a rewarding experience that not drama can pull off. One minor problem I do have are the gangsters who are two dimensional. The gangster at time just appear when the plots them too, but that's a minor complaint. The acting is solid from every single one of it actors. In particular the young child actor Will Poulter who's deliver a very professional performance few kids his age could even match. His acting is at the same level as the adults and without doubt Poulter has a bright future in his acting career. Also, special praise to Dexter Fletcher who was able to capture the best of the actor chemistry with each other and being able capture the true essence of the story he is telling.
Wild Bill is a great drama that you should see if you have not seen it already. It's well made, offers a rewarding experience, and a great acting from it cast that should not go unnoticed by the general public.
This directorial debut of the English actor Dexter Fletcher is the most pleasant surprise this year.
The story of Bill Hayward (Charlie Creed-Miles), a prisoner of eight years out on parole, who is returning home, to find out that his wife has left and his 15 and 11 year old sons, Dean (Will Poulter) and Jimmy (Sammy Williams) were living alone - was a touching one. Not sweet touching, but bitterly touching! Dean, the older boy was managing to support his younger brother, but Bill has to stay when social services threatens to put the boys into care discovering that their mother is gone. A bond between Bill and Jimmy quickly develops, but is short-lived when Jimmy gets into some trouble with the drug dealers - old friends of Bill's...
This is a real life drama you can witness from a comfortable chair on a big screen - well written, well acted, well directed... check it out!
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