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The Big White

The Big White

Total Film

April 2006

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Director Mark Mylod
Starring Robin Williams, Holly Hunter, Giovanni Ribisi, Tim Blake Nelson
Cert 15

Rating **

Brit TV comedy vet Mark Mylod (The Royle Family) follows his uninspired debut feature, Ali G Indahouse, with a trying-way-too-hard Fargo Xerox suffering from tonal schizophrenia. Like the Coens' wintry pulp-drama, this follows a near-bankrupt Alaskan travel agent (Robin Williams) trying to solve his financial woes with a get-rich-now scheme: a potty life insurance scam, involving, er, passing off a frozen body as his long-lost brother.

On the plus side, a non-gurning Williams doesn't overplay his quest for audience sympathy, while Holly Hunter delivers a slapsticky but sharp turn as his Tourettes-afflicted wife. Giovanni Ribisi also amuses as a rottweiler of a claims adjuster, but Woody Harrelson's boozy hick is just plain annoying. Ultimately, it's Mylod's sputtering attempt to contrive a Coens-lite effect that scuppers his second film.

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