Director Barnaby Thompson’s whip-smart homegrown black comedy stars Olivia Cooke, Alec Baldwin, Ben Hardy and Daryl McCormack, and wheelspins into ODEON cinemas on 23 October. Here are five classic movies that share the same DNA…
If you like In Bruges (2008) you’ll love Pixie
With Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson playing hapless Irish hitmen marooned in Europe’s quaintest mini-break destination, director Martin McDonagh’s BAFTA-winner was a claret-spattered mobster flick that was somehow funnier than most comedies released that year.
With the Pixie film, Barnaby Thompson pulls off the same trick. You know you probably shouldn’t laugh at rotting corpses and duffel bags stuffed with narcotics. But from the moment that Emerald Isle imbeciles Frank and Harland (played by Bohemian Rhapsody’s Ben Hardy and Peaky Blinders’ Daryl McCormack) run down the assassin sent to kill Pixie (Olivia Cooke), then take ownership of his drug haul, your conscience takes a back seat.
“It’s an Irish spaghetti western in a way,” Hardy told Total Film. “That’s what drew me into it.”
If you like An Education (2009) you’ll love Pixie
In her breakout role as a planet-brained teen in Swinging London, Carey Mulligan captivated cinemagoers with charisma, making us wish her character was real so we could hang out with her, listening to jazz.
Now, prepare for cinema’s next goddess of cool. Oldham-born actress Olivia Cooke has already made ripples in Spielberg’s 2018 VR fantasy Ready Player One, and shone in 2016’s acclaimed horror, The Limehouse Golem. Here, in the lead role as Pixie, she’s the snarky Bonnie to the boys’ bungling Clydes: a smart-mouthed girl-next-door who doesn’t break a sweat in the face of drug deals, heat-packing clergy and a hitman who’s on her tail following a heist-gone-wrong.
“She’s confident, she’s witty, she’s got this zest for life and adventure,” Cooke told Total Film. “There is a slightly psychopathic tinge to her personality, too…”
If you like Dumb And Dumber (1994) you’ll love Pixie
Blocking toilets and chowing chilli peppers, Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels’ road-tripping goons blazed a trail of dumbassery across this 1994 classic that still makes us snigger to think of it. A quarter-century later, in the Pixie film, the underworld-savvy heroine might be calling the shots as her car races across rural Ireland with its dubious cargo – but she’ll have to tolerate the forehead-slapping stupidity of Frank and Harland: a duo so clueless they Google the street value of their stash before meeting the dealer.
“I guess you fellas aren’t used to being in the hot water you find yourself in currently,” deadpans Pixie. “Is that correct…?”
If you like Shallow Grave (1994) you’ll love Pixie
The key turned in Danny Boyle’s jet-black cinematic debut with the discovery of Keith Allen’s butt-naked corpse and a mysterious suitcase of money. But if you shivered with schadenfreude watching the net close on a weaselly Ewan McGregor and his opportunistic flatmates, that’s nothing compared to the potentially murderous payback zeroing in on Pixie and the boys.
Stashing a dead hitman and his contraband into a car boot is rarely the start of a world-beating plan – and sure enough, the trio is soon hiding out among the pews of a church as it’s riddled with bullets by tooled-up psychopath priests.
If you like Snatch (2000) you’ll love Pixie
There’s nothing like the surrealist buzz of a stone-cold Hollywood A-lister pitching up in a low-budget homegrown movie. And we’ve never pinched ourselves harder than when Brad Pitt glammed down to play a toothless, incoherent bare-knuckler in Guy Ritchie’s second movie. Pixie might be more of a springboard for the cream of the UK and Ireland’s young talent than an all-star project, but keep your eyes peeled for a few big fish.
First, there’s stand-up comic and Black Books star Dylan Moran, here perfectly cast as the underworld’s most curmudgeonly and sarcastic dealer. Meanwhile, a taste of Tinseltown comes from the mighty Alec Baldwin, as the trigger-happy leader of the wayward holy men.
“These guns,” he growls, doling out a selection of hand-cannons to his flock, “aren’t gonna shoot themselves…” Brilliant.
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