The Outfit (2022)

Starring: Mark Rylance, Zoey Deutch, Johnny Flynn, Dylan O’Brian, and Simon Russell Beale.

Directed By: Graham Moore

Where I Watched it: Peacock

English Audio Description Available?: Yes

Provided By?: WGBH Media Access

Narrated By: Briana Leon

(Updated with narrator information courtesy of a subscriber, which should now also be reflected on TheADNA.org as well. Originally, Peacock forced me out of the credits before I could discover the narrator, and into another movie.)

The Plot: Don’t you dare call him a tailor. He’s (Rylance) a cutter. There’s a difference, and one that he’s quick to correct you on should you dare to call him a tailor. Formerly a cutter who learned his trade in England, he now runs his own shop in Chicago, where he has unfortunately landed in mob territory as two different groups struggle for control. Can one quiet cutter manage to keep his store neutral during a war?

What Works: Currently,as of this writing, The Outfit is my favorite 2022 film. If I voted for Best Picture right now, this would be it. I also concede the total possibility that 10 more films could come out that change my mind, but right now, this knocked me flat. Loved it. See it. Don’t let people spoil it for you. This film has lots of twists and turns, and does some really amazing work with just one location, and a very small cast. The film never drags, and it will definitely keep you guessing and on edge throughout the film.

Mark Rylance is just one of the greatest breathing actors. He does so much wit this role, playing it with the kind of deft accuracy in every frame that only someone of his caliber can exude. The screenplay is already strong, but he solidifies it through being obviously the best choice for the role. It’s a terrific performance, and he’s great in every single frame.

From a first time director, this should get Graham More some more attention, as this is well executed, edited, and paced well. All really good signs of a bright future. And he made this on a clearly limited budget, as the cast is small, lacking A-list talent, and featuring one location. Still, The Outfit will never make you feel like you’re paying for something cheap or low budget. When this ball gets rolling, it’s coming at you dangerously fast.

What Doesn’t Work: i would not have cast Dylan O’Brien in this role. I don’t think he’s right for a mob role. I refuse to let that damper the experience, because his contribution to the film is minimal anyway, as characters rotate in and out of the shop, and really Rylance has much more screen time than any other character.

The Blind Perspective: Truly exceptional description, one that lets you know of these little clues along the way you don’t even know why you’re supposed to pick up on them, until it’s revealed later. Then, finally once you have all the pieces to the puzzle, and another layer of the film is pulled back, you are very grateful that the description took the time to notice what was important.

To be fair, I do not consider this a high difficulty film. It does benefit from the ease of having a small cast to have to describe and familiarize ourselves with, as well as one location, that by the end of the film has been fleshed out over the course of the film so well, you could almost walk through the store yourself. Certainly, those elements make this a little easier. But the audio description delivers.

Final Thoughts: highly recommended. If i had a stamp, to put my absolute approval and faith in a title, this would get it. I think this is an uncovered gem waiting for more people to watch it. I don’t think it can win any awards, but it’s not something I’ll forget.

Final Grade: A

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