8.5 out of 10

Release Date: 2nd October 2011

Director: David Mackenzie (Starred Up / You Instead / Hallam Foe / Young Adam)

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, Stephen Dillane, Denis Lawson, Alastair Mackenzie with Ewen Bremner and Connie Nielsen

Writer: David Mackenzie & Kim Fupz Aekeson



TO BE PROOFREAD: Here’s cinema’s most interesting ‘end of the world’ movie. The human race begins to lose it’s senses one by one. The mysterious pandemic is witnessed by an aloof chef, Michael (EWAN MCGREGOR – SON OF A GUN) and epidemiologist Susan (EVA GREEN – CLONE) who begin are at the beginning of a tentative romatic relationship. Set in Glasgow amongst the city’s trendy restaurant  and the shabby government labs we experience a heartbreaking journey about what it is to be human and how we could cope with such a devasting global change in nature.

First of all the human race loses its sense of smell. The phenomenon is proceeded with a huge feeling of loss and hurt because the loss of smell is associated with memory and nostaglia. The change is gradual but as the disease gets a grip the window between change is getting ever narrow as everybody on earth succumbs. It’s a fascinating look at how we’d react to a slow apocalypse. The reason for the apocalypse is a mystery and only vaguely explored in the narrative, however this isn’t Outbreak or The Day After Tomorrow – there’s no stopping this slow killer. It’s perhaps the most intriuguing, realistic, thoughtful and sensible ‘end of the world’ story ever to make it to cinema screens. It’s strange that the trailer shows no sign of the film’s central downer but there’s no escaping what this film is about once you press play.

Scottish director David Mackenzie proves himself to be one of the most interesting auteurs at work in the UK at the moment. It’s a shame that his films don’t get any mass recognition as he has a great imagination and the ability and style to realise some high concepts on a modest scale. Ewan McGregor puts in one of his best performances in ages as the baffled Michael who finds love a little too late. Eva Green matches him as the fragile Susan who is being pulled in two directions – one to satisfy her brief of finding the cause of the ‘disease’ and to find love at the end of days. There’s no happy endings or resolutions here and the inevitable ending (in which all the senses are lost) is left open – mercifully, ending on a temporary positive note.

8.5 out of 10 – Thoroughly recommended as the perfect opposite to Hollywood disaster movies. Imagine a Hollywood version featuring Nicolas Cage and The Rock as rival epidemiologists for a minute? Scary huh?


  • Ewan McGregor: Son of a Gun, Mortdecai, August-Osage County, Jack The Giant Slayer, The Impossible, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, Haywire, Beginners, Jackboots On Whitehall (voice), Nanny McPhee, The Ghost, Amelia, The Men Who Stare At Goats, Angels & Demons, I Love You Phillip Morris, Incediary, Cassandra’s Dream, Miss Potter, Scenes Of a Sexual Nature, Alex Rider -Storm Breaker, Stay, The Island (2005), Star Wars III – The Revenge Of The Sith, Valiant (voice), Robots (voice), Big Fish, Down With Love, Star Wars II – Attack Of The Clones, Black Hawk Down, Moulin Rouge, Nora, Eye Of The Beholder, Rogue Trader, Star Wars – The Phantom Menace, Little Voice, Velvet Goldmine, A Life Less Ordinary, Serpent’s Kiss, Nightwatch, Brassed Off, Emma (1996), The Pillow Book, Trainspotting, Blue Juice, Shallow Grave, Being Human, Lipstick On Your Collar (TV)
  • Eva Green: 300 – part II, Dark Shadows, Clone, Cracks, Franklyn, The Golden Compass, James Bond – Casino Royale, Kingdom Of Heaven, The Dreamers
  • Stephen Dillane: Papadopoulos and Sons, Twenty8K,  44 Inch Chest, Goal II, Goal, King Arthur (2004), The Hours, The Truth About Charlie, Spy Game, The Parole Officer, The Darkest Light, Hamlet (1990)
  • Denis Lawson:  The Machine (2014), New Tricks (TV), The Wee ManBroken (2013), Holby City (TV), Kit Curran (TV), Star Wars VI – Return Of The Jedi, Local Hero, Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars IV – A New Hope
  • Alastair Mackenzie: You Instead, New Town Killers, The Edge Of Love, The Monarch Of The Glen (TV)
  • Ewen Bremner: Snowpiercer,  Jack The Giant Slayer, Great Expectations (2012), Perfect Sense, Fool’s Gold, Hallam Foe, Death At a Funeral (2007), Match Point, Alien Vs. Predator, Around The World In 80 Days, Welcome To The Jungle, 16 Years Of Alcohol, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbour, Snatch, Julien Donkey Boy, The Acid House, Mojo, Trainspotting, Judge Dredd (1995), Naked, As You Like It (1992)
  • Connie Nielsen: Nymphomaniac 1 & 2, The Ice Harvest, Brothers, Basic, The Hunted, One Hour Photo, Mission To Mars, Gladiator, Soldier (1998), Rushmore, Permanent Midnight, The Devil’s Advocate

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