The Outfit

29/09/2022 19:30.
Cert 15

This tense and amusing crime drama about Chicago mobsters in the 1950s operating out of a tailor’s shop is the auspicious directorial debut of Chicago-born former novelist and screenwriter Graham Moore, who won an Academy Award for scripting The Imitation Game, (2014, Morten Tyldum). Here he has brilliantly co-written The Outfit with Johnathan McClain. The film was shot in London on a sound stage designed by Gemma Jackson and is mostly filmed in one location.

Dir: Graham Moore, UK/USA, 103 mins, 2022.

Programme Notes

The story centres on Leonard Burling (Mark Rylance) who is the epitome of a high-class English tailor’s cutter – rather than just a tailor, who merely sews on buttons. He has set up shop in Chicago and is running a successful gentleman’s outfitting business. His most frequent and profitable customers, though, are the city mobsters, as a result of which he finds himself unable to keep his business free from association with their world of turf wars, money laundering and murder.

As the story unfolds it becomes evident that a great many things are not as they might at first appear, including the relationships between the central protagonists, who suspect there is ‘mole’ in their gang.

Everything about this film fits well together, from the engaging screenplay (with a clever twist or two on the gangster genre), the superb acting by the leads and cinematographer Dick Pope’s marvellous way of framing his shots.