ByPhil Hendrie, writer at

I've watched 'Locke' around 7 or 8 times in the last 2 months and if there's a God and decent pay per view I'll watch it again and again and again until it's all watched up. The movie stars the genius Tom Hardy and tells the tale....well, forget the tale. It's about a guy in deep, deep shit and how he decides to put everything in the world that he loves on the back burner and maybe right off the stove and onto the floor to do something his father and probably the rest of the world never taught him to do...... The Right Thing.

He's driving through the night to London to be at the birth of his child, born to a woman our man Locke had a...well, a pointless extra marital fling with months before while out of town and away from the wife and the kids. He's throwing away a career, a marriage and a family to be with this woman, a woman he describes to his disbelieving and completely unsympathetic wife (as if that's a surprise) as being no 'oil painting' and rather 'old,' because he says 'she's rather fragile' and because he wants the child she is bearing him to know it has a father. Maybe he doesn't deserves Parent of the Year for any of this but as he begins talking to the imagined figure of his dead dad sitting in the back seat, we realize this moment has been in the cards for a long time. "I wish I could dig you up out of the ground and open your mud encrusted eyes so you could see how I manage this, how I own up to my responsibilities, something you could never do, could you? You worthless piece of shit." Locke, through his own wrecklessness, calls upon himself to prove his mettle and to tamp down his bitterness with action. And now that it has he wants to make damn sure that at least his fathers ghost notes and long remembers what the son does this night.

Tom Hardy carries us along through the neon and the dash lights and the truck traffic, racing through a heart sick night, interacting only with the disembodied phone voices of family and co-workers and the woman he's heading to London to be with. He tries to explain all to a grieving, angry wife while muting his tear-streaked agony when talking football with young sons. He patiently explains to an assistant all that needs to be done at a job site the next morning, one that will witness 'the largest concrete pour in European history at a non-military site' as he's told ad nauseum by a superior. He's reminded that they'll 'go ballistic in Chicago' because he won't be there but he tries to insure the jobs success anyway knowing he's already been fired. And all the while he glowers at the mental image of dad in the back seat, the 'weak cunt.' ''The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Isn't that what they say,' he asks the phantom. 'I'm going to show you that yes, it does.' You wonder, no matter what it is this man has done, when his torture will end. And the movie delivers that moment to us quietly and beautifully. As he later tells another phone voice, "Two words I've learned tonight. Fuck Chicago."

This is the greatest acting and the greatest actor I've seen since since....who? Imelda Staunton in 'Vera Drake.' Daniel Day-Lewis in 'There Will Be Blood.' I don't know. And what a story to tell. Taking responsibility for our own fuck-ups, as Locke himself calls it. Taking responsibility when it means we stand to lose everything and soldiering on because we not only know from personal experience what it means if we don't, we actually give a shit. This little movie with this giant performance reminds me


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