Bronson (2009) Director: Nicolas Winding Refn

Bronson - the story of Charles Bronson, the UK's most 'dangerous' criminal - is a real assault on the senses. From the opening introduction by Bronson (my future husband Tom Hardy) to camera, the film makes you feel uneasy and you know it's going to be brutal. Bronson states he's always wanted to be famous but he can't sing and he can't dance and it cuts to him, naked, fighting prison guards in a cage. What follows is almost arthouse - this is not the thuggish, Danny Dyer-esque film I expected for meatheads, but in fact a beautifully shot, almost Kubrick-esque, tale of a man who just can't help indulging in the old bit of ultraviolence. It's all he knows and all he can do.

Tom Hardy spends most of this film naked which is delightful - it just so happens that Bronson prefers to put his warpaint on and fight naked. This is a different Tom Hardy though and a performance that shows he is one of the most exciting British method actors we have. Hardy beefed up big style to play Bronson and he looks completely different - he also spent time with the man himself to play him. It's an astonishing performance. Intercut with his story, Bronson talks directly to camera, playing his life out on a stage before a crowd, and these moments are particularly powerful. The whole of Hardy's portrayl of Bronson is exceptional - you move towards feeling empathy for the character to absolute horror where he holds a prison librarian and art teacher hostage. You feel what it is like to be in the hands of a psychopath. You do not know what is coming next from him. Hardy has you eating out of the palm of his hand.

Kudos must also go to the beautiful direction of Nicolas Winding Refn. Shots of Hardy going to the 'funny farm' pan and sweep around the room like Kubrick and the prison fights to classical music reminded me of A Clockwork Orange. Beating people up to 80s electronica is also kind of cool.

See this film now. It'll blow you away.