Under the Radar

There's Always Room for a Good Boxing Movie: 'Jawbone'

"Jawbone" is an ace boxing movie written by its star Johnny Harris, an actor best known here for his role in Guy Ritchie's "RocknRolla" but he's enjoyed steady work in British TV and movies for the past twenty years. He plays Jimmy McCabe, an aging ex-boxer who agrees to one last (underground) fight in an attempt to deal with some money problems.

We've got a clip from the film where Harris gets reamed by his trainer (played by Michael Smiley) for he sees as Harris' lack of commitment to preparing for the upcoming fight.

"Jawbone" was directed by Thomas Napper in his feature debut. He's the longtime second unit director for Joe Wright, working on such films as the sure-to-be-nominated-for-an-Oscar "Darkest Hour," "Anna Karenina" and "Atonement." Napper elevates a by-the-numbers boxing tale to something memorable, supported by excellent performances from Harris, Smiley, Ray Winstone and Ian McShane and outstanding fight scenes.

"Jawbone" has earned both Harris and Napper a nomination for a BAFTA (the U.K. equivalent of an Academy Award) Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer. It's definitely a cut above the usual straight-to-video British action fare.

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