Spotlight – Michael Smiley

There have always been a startling pantheon of amazing Irish actors, and if not loved for their devilish looks then their Irish lilt wil have draws dropping worldwide. I had watched Smilie in a few films like The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) just a small part, but that voice is so darn distinctive. A stand up comedian, married to Miranda Sawyer he always brings a cheeky smile and some darkness to any role, a hot favourite of Ben Wheatley the two seem to develop some very interesting and deep characters together.

05.Down Terrace (2009)

This was the first feature length film from the budding director and Smiley appears as Pringle, a small town hitman who sometimes has to drag his young son along with him. Everything about this film dank, filmed like a documentary and dealing with lots of raw emotions, double crossing and delivering some sharp kills, no one is safe once the killing starts. Stabbing shootings, old ladies being pushed under buses, it’s all go. Michaels character is hard to take, one minute he’s all smiles and the next he’s deadly serious, a great addition to the cast and possibly working towards his role in Kill List. 9/10

04.Outpost (2008)

Nazi zombies and a giant time bending machine, what could go wrong.. For me this film is a bit of a guilty pleasure, I do really enjoy it, despite it not being a great film. I do really admire that mechanics behind and the almost supernatural feel that it conjours. A group of mercenaries from all different armies/walk of life gathered to safely transport a nerd to a “secret” bunker to do what he needs and escort him home. A simple job turns into a nightmare when some corpses start to reanimate and Michael’s irish accent comes into play. He’s a constant source of interesting one liners and stands out as one of the more colorful characters in the film. The best lines in the film probably come from Smiley like when they shoot one of the corpses and he gets up Smiley replies with “You’ve got to be humming my balls” maybe it’s funnier when you see it? 6/10


03.A Field in England (2013)

Finally a lead role!! It’s something I had wished for ns finally it came true, obviously the only man who could have made this come true is Wheatley and in one of his more thought provoking movies, the black and white occult tale with layers of trippy psychedelia, mysterious folklore backgrounds, insipid dialogue and amazing acting against a well devised soundtrack, this film did honestly provide one of the most breathtaking and powerful scenes for all of 2013. So Michael’s lead sees him as an Occultist who’s looking for buried treasure in a field (yes in England) hot on his heels is the novice occultist Whitehead (Reece Shearsmith) and he’s accompanied by a few fellas who have left a battlefield in search of a pub. Michael is brilliant as this man of the black arts who conjures spirits to possess men to search for an unknown treasure, looking absolutely stunning in his amazing black hat he honestly gives the performance of his life. 10/10

02.Come to Daddy (2019)

The charming lilt of Smiley is only one of his charming characteristics in this unusual thriller, originally about a boy reuniting with his estranged rather, only to stumble on a much bigger violent story, Smiley enters are a deranged, perverted hit man who’s out to reclaim a treasure that he believes has been stolen from him, from an old associate. Not only does he totally brutalise his old partner in crime, attempts to kill Elijas after stalking him, he pulls a pro at a popular swingers bash but he’s just totally bat shit crazy in this role that only ends badly for everyone. It was refreshing to see him really immerse himself in this seedy character, with a beautiful fluffy mane of curly hair he staggers through the final act inflicting as much pain as misery as possible before a final stand off with a hipster dweeb Elijah woods.

01.Kill List (2011)

One of my all time favourite movies from one of my favourite directors Ben Wheatley, Michael plays the sentimental half of a hit man duo with Jay (Maskel).The pair ar offer a short kill list with an interesting fee but it starts to bring out the worse in Jay and soon their lives are in more danger than they could ever imagine. The film is outstanding, a mix of macabre and violent action along with deeply curious occult practice and ritual when you’d least expect it. Michael co stars as the cooler half, as Jay starts to lose his shit and gets more violent as the movie progresses. His funny bare bone dark humour is great and this role I believe was written just for him and he seems to be Wheatley’s favourite actor. 10/10

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