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Dot the I (2003)
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Directed by: Matthew Parkhill
Script by: Matthew Parkhill
Status: Premiere Jan. 18, 2003 (Sundance Film Festival)
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Runtime: 92 min
Production Studio: Alquimia Cinema, Arcane Pictures, Summit Entertainment
Country: UK, Spain, USA
Co-Stars: Gael García Bernal, Natalia Verbeke, Tom Hardy, Charlie Cox
Role: Barnaby Caspian
Barnaby is Carmen’s fiance. Rich, successful, sweet, attractive, dependable, he is the rock Carmen clings to. But as the story unfolds, he might simply be too perfect to be true.
James about his character: I'd be having different sorts of conversations with Matthew depending on which other actors were in the room, which was kind of weird. The fun was that I got to explore both sides of my character and it was a challenge finding little subtleties and playing with them. I guess my job was really to try and meld all the aspects together and make one credible person. To an extent, though, we all do that in everyday life, depending on the company we're in - guys behave in a different way with their girlfriends to the way they do with their mates - so it's not completely outside of my frame of reference!
Plot: Carmen, a beautiful Spanish woman with a tendency to lose her temper at the drop of a hat, is about to be married to Barnaby, a caring, wealthy, but slightly boring Englishman. While out with friends on her 'hen night' she encounters a stranger who suddenly sparks a passion that has been sleeping within her. As her wedding date approaches, she finds herself struggling to put this newcomer out of her mind, but his effect on her keeps growing stronger. What is it that he sees in her, and why does she feel like she's being pushed inevitably into his arms?
Trivia & Facts:
- Budget $600,000
- It was Matthew Parkhill’s first film as a director; Charlie Cox’s first time on a film set; Gael’s first English language role.
- The story has been remade in the Indian film “Nagaab” (Trailer)
Film Location: London, New York
Awards & Nominations:
Deauville Film Festival: Audience Award - Matthew Parkhill (2003)
Matthew Parkhill: Dot the I was well received at film festivals in 2003, finally getting released in 2005. We shot this in 2002 and some in 2003 and it’s been out in about 15 countries. My understanding of it is that every territory was bought by a different distributor and then it’s totally up to them what they want to do with it.
On casting James: We wanted someone who appears to be playing on that very English movie stereotype; the sweet, wealthy, perhaps even a little bland, well-meaning character, but someone who could also make that switch into something very cold and calculating. James has that ability to play on both of those elements.
It’s funny because James came in for a first reading and it didn’t work for either of us. He had short hair [in the film D’Arcy’s character has long hair]. He just got off a flight and came straight in.”We were looking for someone that the audience doesn’t know that well because if you had a guy playing that role who was a big famous actor, you’d know there’d be something more to the role. [However, after coming up empty-handed in his initial search, the casting director, Kate Rhodes approached Parkhill with the idea of seeing D'Arcy again] He came in the second time and it was totally different. It was like a different person walked in.
James D’Arcy (on being casted): It was a disaster, I went in and I said, I think you’ve got this problem with the script and that problem. And he probably thought, ‘Get this guy of here.' I came back and I screen-tested, I’m very pleased [Parkhill] gave me the chance. One of the things I learned was keep your mouth shut when you’re going for a part. I hadn’t focused on the good things about the script, because it is really terrific stuff. But he had rewritten some of it. He had taken out some of the stuff that I had mentioned.
His trio of leads are engaging and believable. The revelation of the film is not Bernal but D’Arcy who loafs from a callow throwaway part into something a heck of a lot more interesting. In a nutshell: Sexy, twisty and with a knockout performance from the character you don't expect to give it --– LA Daily News Evan Henerson (2005)
James D’Arcy gives Barnaby an inspiring spin. D’Arcy provides most, if not all, of the best lines in the film and plays the schizophrenic part of Barnaby with superior touch. When he’s supposed to be unlikable, Barnaby is heinous to the eyes. When his part calls for likeability and attractive deceitfulness, Barnaby is on the top of his game. The best of D’Arcy’s performance comes out in a monologue that humorously spells out the entire purpose of the film --- Socal Kevin Biggers
James D'Arcy is the best actor of the entire cast, in my humble opinion. Never before had seen, had not even heard of him and that is why the surprise has been greater --- Vadin
(Dot the I) is Matthew Parkhill’s ingenious romantic black comedy… I never saw the sublime twists coming in this startling film…If you’re a film buff you’ll have to watch this one at least twice --- The Daily Mail Baz Bamigboye
So let us observe that good work is performed here by all three of the leading actors -- Bernal, who is so likable he had better play a villain soon just to add some Tabasco; Verbeke, who is so touchingly torn between love and loyalty, and then between loyalty and love, and D'Arcy, who creates a truly scary two-faced personality --- rogerebert.com
The best acting moments belong to D'Arcy, who, as Barnaby, is the most complicated character and shows the most growth --- Mick LaSalle, Chronicle Movie Critic (2005)
A weird, pretty film with a dumb script, a skilled cast and a good twist, plus one hot sex scene and one brilliant scene-chew by D'Arcy --- M.E. Russell, Oregonian