Tom Hardy | Locke
Locke has only one on-screen character, a building site foreman played magnificently by Tom Hardy, who spends the entire 80-odd minutes of the film driving his car and talking on the phone. That sounds like a recipe for an ultra-experimental yawn-fest, but in fact Locke is a gripping and deeply cinematic human and ethical drama. (x)
Tom Hardy & Kelly Marcel at the 2014 British Academy Film Awards (Feb. 16)
Tom Hardy in Locke
What makes Hardy’s performance so effective is that he doesn’t play Locke as a quick-fix dynamo, nor as some paragon of male nobility, rushing gallantly to the side of a helpless woman. He’s simply an ordinary, even-tempered and decent man in a tough situation, whose moral compass dictates a dutiful sense of follow-through in both private and professional matters. Watching the performance in such unblinking focus is a reminder of how infrequently those qualities define a contemporary screen character.
Hardy seldom raises his voice, and even as cracks form in his composure and the ramifications become clear, flare-ups are kept to a minimum. His line readings are consistently interesting, conveying a lot with little outward display of emotion. But the shattering toll of Locke’s actions is written all over his face as he accepts his fate. It’s an extraordinary piece of acting. (x)
Tom Hardy in Siberia, with Mika Salo and Paul Callicott, while filming Driven to Extremes.