The Lawless Heart

Presenting a single tale from a series of perspectives has become so commonplace that it no longer constitutes much of a statement in itself, and the screen time this British drama expends connecting the dots between its three concurrent segments would have been better used developing its characters. Writer-directors Neil Hunter and Tom Hunsinger use the funeral of a gay man as the common starting point for stories about the man's lover, brother-in-law, and long absent best friend. The lover's is the most interesting: Tom Hollander gives a strong performance as the considerate and quietly grieving young man, who wanders into a sexual relationship with a free-spirited woman (Sukie Smith) and can't decide whether he's reevaluating his sexuality or just freaking out. The brother-in-law (Bill Nighy), a woodenly conservative family man, bumbles through a midlife crisis and emerges from it as much a dullard as he was before, and the best friend (Douglas Henshall), a freewheeling chap estranged from his family and hometown, becomes the central figure in a perfunctory love triangle. 99 min.

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