Divorcing Jack

David Caffrey's 1998 debut feature is set in present-day Belfast, where a newspaper columnist (David Thewlis) is implicated in a murder and drawn into the messy politics of an election in Northern Ireland. The film careens from black comedy to murder mystery to political sermon, relying on Thewlis to hold things together as the befuddled man in the middle. He?s quite believable, showing the rage and moroseness beneath the reporter's blithe, hard-drinking facade, and Rachel Griffiths (Hilary and Jackie) is amusing as a gun-toting, garter-belted nun. But Caffrey?s direction is unfocused; he has a good feel for the seediness and combustible air of Belfast but weakens what might have been a good revenge drama with too many digressions and incidental details. Colin Bateman wrote the screenplay, adapting his own novel.

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