Thursday, March 17, 2022

Always quirky Rylance entertains again in equally unconventional 'Outfit'

Have you seen the performance of Mark Rylance in the Best Picture-nominated "Don't Look Up"? Or his own Oscar-winning role in 2015's "Bridge of Spies"? Or just about anything in between, from his title giant in "The BFG" to a dazzling portrayal of controversial lawyer/activist William Kunstler in another multi-nominee, 2020's "The Trial of the Chicago 7"?

Well, speaking of Chicago, here's one more gem for you, with the diminutive Brit dominating the big screen again in "The Outfit," a Windy City-set little thriller that mostly rewards patient -- and observant -- viewers.

Of course, Rylance becomes the main reason to see it, as a smartly eccentric clothes "cutter," who allows mobsters to use his upscale tailor shop for regular money drops and other crime-inspired chores. What they do there gets increasingly evident, both through the character's narration about his unique job skills and a close-to-the-vest telling from co-writer and first-time director Graham Moore, who won his own Academy Award as the screenwriter of 2014's "The Imitation Game."  

Naturally, veteran stage trouper Rylance always acts right at home with the film's meager production designs, most likely the result of shooting the film during a pandemic. Capable supporting players Zoe Deutch, Simon Russell Beale, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Johnny Flynn do as well.

By the end, "The Outfit," which opens Friday only in theaters, likely won't wear well with everyone, but fanciers of the sinister should not be disappointed. 

Rated "R": some bloody violence and language; 1:45; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

 (A number of movies also debut Friday on an assortment of streaming outlets. They include "Deep Water" (Hulu),"Windfall" (Netflix), and another remake of "Cheaper by the Dozen" (Disney+). Meanwhile, "Master" shows up in theaters and on Prime Video.

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