FNE at Berlinale 2022: Special Gala: The Outfit

    FNE at Berlinale 2022: Special Gala: The Outfit source: www.berlinale.de

    BERLIN: Director Graham Moore scored a special gala screening at the Berlinale with his debut film The Outfit, an undoubted sign that here is a director to watch in future. Moore, who won an Oscar for his script for The Imitation Game, also wrote the screenplay for the film this time teaming up co-screenwriter Jonathan McClain.

    Moore sets the film in 1950s Chicago and the film was shot during the COVID pandemic so it brings a small group of actors together in the enclosed space of a tailor’s shop. Leonard Burling played magnificently by Mark Rylance is a former Savile Row tailor who has ended up in Chicago after a personal tragedy. His gift is creating beautiful bespoke suits but the only clients who can afford them are a family of Irish mobsters. Leonard is ready to turn a blind eye to the activities of this band of criminals, led by head of the family Roy Boyle played by Simon Russell Beale, supposing he can stay out of the line of fire. 

    But when the gang starts to leave mysterious packages in his shop for collection and generally take advantage of Leonard’s accommodating nature, he and his assistant Mable played by Zoey Deutch find themselves embroiled deeper and deeper into this gang of criminals and their activities. This is a plot full of twists and turns worthy of any noir gangster film and Moore takes us on an enjoyable ride with the help of Mark Rylance who turns in a great performance as Leonard. As a debut film it is very impressive.

    Speaking at the press conference Moore said the idea for the film came from his grandfather Charlie, who helped to raise him from the age of seven after his parents split up. “Charlie was a doctor in a small town and the nicest, kindest man you could ever imagine meeting, but one of his patients was a notorious mobster. My grandmother used to say how can you treat this vicious killer, but my grandfather said once someone walks through the door of my medical office it doesn’t matter what they did outside in my office they are a patient.” 

    “Later on I knew that I wanted to make a film about a Savile Row tailor but I didn’t now what kind of story it could be. Then I was looking at a book called the History of Tailoring in the 20th Century, which said that in 1956 the first bug that was ever planted by the FBI in its history was planted in a tailor’s shop in Chicago.” Instantly Jonathan my co-writer and I knew that this was the story we wanted to make.”

    Credits: The Outfit (USA)
    Directed by Graham Moore
    Cast: Mark Rylance, Zoey Deutch, Dylan O’Brien, Johnny Flynn, Nikki Amuka Bird