Whodunit has its mo­ments

The Province - - ENTERTAINMENT - CHRIS KNIGHT ck­night@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/chrisknight­film

Movie Re­view

The Lime­house Golem Warn­ing: 18A Grade: B-Theatres, show­times, pages 30-31

Where is Sher­lock Holmes when you need him? Late Vic­to­rian Lon­don’s great­est de­tec­tive would have cracked the case of The Lime­house Golem wide open, prob­a­bly in half the time it takes In­spec­tor John Kil­dare (Bill Nighy), to scam­per through the city’s the­atri­cal un­der­belly to find a Jack-the-Rip­per type.

But Peter Ack­royd’s 1994 novel, adapted by Jane Gold­man, cre­ates a suit­ably at­mo­spheric set­ting. Cen­tral to the plot is Lizzie Cree (Olivia Cooke), who is sus­pected of mur­der­ing her hus­band, John (Sam Reid).

Kil­dare is busy in­ves­ti­gat­ing the Lime­house Golem killings as they’ve been nick­named by the press. When sus­pi­cion falls on the late Mr. Cree, Kil­dare won­ders whether Lizzie might have mur­dered a mur­derer.

Gold­man’s screen­play, brought to life by di­rec­tor Juan Car­los Me­d­ina, throws in some red her­rings. Lizzie has spent much of her life in the theatre fend­ing off un­savoury male col­leagues (shades of the We­in­stein scan­dal), and jeal­ous fe­males while her men­tor, Dan Leno (Dou­glas Booth), does his best to keep her safe.

The solid cast, in­clud­ing Ed­die Marsan as a theatre im­pre­sario nick­named Un­cle, and Daniel Mays as Kil­dare’s trusted lieu­tenant, helps keep the story afloat. Kil­dare says they can com­pre­hend the mur­derer “if we can sink to his cir­cle of dam­na­tion.” And when was the last time a search for clues in­cluded the query: “Do you feel like a walk? To the li­brary?”

— NUM­BER 9 FILMS

Bill Nighy and Olivia Cooke star in The Lime­house Golem. While both of­fer pleas­ant di­ver­sion, Cooke, es­pe­cially shines in her role.

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