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Killers Anonymous

Killers Anonymous (Martin Owen, 2019)

What’s your next move once you’ve been awarded an Oscar for Best Actor? Following his performance as Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour (Joe Wright, 2017), Gary Oldman seems to have taken a curious path. Refraining from betting on the same formula, Oldman picked two roles that are tinted in black humour. Both The Laundromat -- that premiered this week in Venice -- and Killers Anonymous celebrate entertainment as opposed to true facts.

In the latter, a support group of killers is held regularly. The participants sit in a circle of trust and share their transgression, on an obvious reference to AA meetings. As the group leader says (a very funny performance by MyAnna Buring), “KA is an education without a graduation”.

On this particular night, London has been rocked by the failed assassination of a Senator and the brutal and professional demise of his attempted assassin. So the plot unravels as a mix of an Agatha Christie’s novel and Monty Python surrealism, with a very rewarding detail: female characters are empowered.

Though being toxic characters, women rule in this film. This is probably due to Elizabeth Morris, who co-wrote the script and plays the witty Krystal. It’s curious to note that whenever British female writers partner with men to create a screenplay, a spice of irony spills out. The same tone can be found in Free Fire (Ben Wheatley, 2016), written by Amy Jump and Ben. Likewise Justine (Brie Larson) in Free Fire, Krystal, Lucy (Sadie Frost) and Alice (Rhyon Nicole Brown) escalate the pulp trash. Slowly, one layer of betrayal leads to another. Not to mention the 70s paraphernalia that are spread all over the setting.

What’s good in this story is that although it’s hard to believe that disadjusted murderers are able to confess their crimes to each other, and regret them, at least momentaneously, every act is justifiable. Take particular Calvin’s (Tim McInnerny) reasons for murdering, for instance.He’s a doctor who kills his patients in order to set in motion the sensation of eyewitnessing his wife’s death.

Killers Anonymous will be in UK Cinemas from 27th August and on Digital Download + DVD & Blu-ray from 26th August

Empowering women on the big screen.

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