Reviews

Starfish: Tom Riley has to deliver a gruelling physical performance

Starfish is released in the UK today, on DVD and digital. It is available to buy from Amazon, HMV, Tesco and Sainsburys. For digital fans, buy and download via Sky and iTunes.

A great new review has been shared by Britflicks.com, who gave it 4 stars, with kind words about Tom's performance.

We’re told at the start that “all this is true” and it’s reflected in director Bill Clark’s dignified approach to the subject, one that isn’t afraid to present us with the truth of what is a lesser known - and all the more terrifying - disease. One that is contracted by 250,000 people every year and which kills 50,000.

The prosthetics bring that reality home: Tom’s stumps and the inescapable effect on his face, which means he has to drink through a straw and dribbles almost constantly. It means Tom Riley has to deliver a gruelling physical performance, especially during the watershed moment at the end of the film. In such a dignified movie, he’s a man who’s lost his own personal dignity.

Pushing Dead: Tom Riley as Mike brings an understated performance

Pushing Dead continues with its many international festival screenings, and this coming weekend, will be shown twice at the BFI Flare festival in London. In advance of the festival, a lovely review for the film, and Tom's performance, has been shared on this website.

...Tom Riley as Mike, the man Dan crosses paths with so often it must be fated, brings an understated performance whose natural rapport with Roday provides much of the film’s heart.

Pushing Dead doesn’t always play out as expected. Don’t be put off by thinking it’s a ‘typical’ indie, there’s more than enough oddball narrative digressions to make it a bit different from usual fare. The cutaways, creepy young girl, and occasionally surreal moments allow the film to be all the more memorable and entertaining. A character over plot piece, Pushing Dead is warm, entertaining and, surprisingly, rather delightful. 

The Collection: the complex role reveals Riley as an actor to watch

Three interviews with Tom in one day! What a treat! Elle shared their interview with Tom online, and included some kind words about his performance as Claude Sabine: "The complex role also reveals Riley as an actor to watch. He channels Claude's low moments with an intense gravity, just as he's able to unveil the character's more vulnerable side."

Tom Riley wasn't really looking to do another TV show when he was approached about Amazon's new historical drama The Collection. The British actor, who had recently wrapped three seasons as the Da Vinci in Da Vinci's Demons, hesitated at the thought of offering so much of his time to another series, but ultimately found the story too compelling to resist. "It was the family drama at the center of the whole thing," he says of The Collection, which follows a pair of brothers running a fashion house in post-war Paris.

The series, which premieres on Amazon Prime on February 10, centers on the tension between Riley's moody Claude Sabine, secretly the real artist behind the clothes, and his brother Paul, the public face of the house. Fashion itself, though, "was this expansive world I had no idea about,"

Starfish: actor Tom Riley gives a harrowingly convincing portrayal

Not entirely sure when this review was posted by the Radio Times, but the original review for the film has been replaced by a slightly different, more detailed one, with very kind things to say about the film, and Tom's performance. 

This true-life medical saga chronicles the struggle faced by Rutland couple Tom and Nicola Ray when he was suddenly struck down by sepsis, an often fatal response to infection which sends the body's immune system haywire. After quadruple amputation and the removal of part of his face, Tom survived to confront a future he never anticipated. Thanks to convincing prosthetics (and Ray himself as a body double) actor Tom Riley gives a harrowingly convincing portrayal of a man battling understandable bitterness and self-pity. Riley is complemented by a heart-rending Joanne Froggatt as the wife and mother buckling under the strain of keeping their young family together. Evidently assembled on modest resources, writer/director Bill Clark's film treats bracing subject matter with honesty and often startling intimacy but never loses sight of the courage shown by this particular family and the many others in the country affected by a truly horrifying condition. The heroic cast certainly play their parts by raising awareness through an undeniably affecting drama. 4****

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