Dirty Pretty Things
July 18, 2003
Miramax obtained worldwide distribution rights to this urban thriller during its first week of filming. Set among the invisible class of immigrant workers who staff London's ritzier establishments, Dirty Pretty Things will mark director Stephen Frears' return to a grittier form he previously displayed in films like The Grifters and The Hit. The screenplay was penned by Steve Knight, co-creator of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Amélie's Audrey Tautou will be making her English-language debut in the film, which revolves around an illegal Nigerian worker (Chjwetel Ejiofor) who is working as a night porter at a posh hotel. When he stumbles across evidence of a bizarre murder that may involve a famous surgeon, he teams up with a Turkish chambermaid (Tautou) and a Chinese prostitute (Sophie Okonedo) to solve the crime. Other cast members include Sergi López and Benedict Wong.
Shot on a $10 million budget, it seems that Dirty Pretty Things should receive a limited release similar to that of Frears' most recent film, Liam. That film topped out at 55 screens in the US and was a festival and art house darling. The presence of Tautou will probably give it a slight boost, as people who fell in love with her in Amélie are likely to have a strong interest in seeing her first English-language film. (Kim Hollis/BOP)