This film would not work without spot on casting for Pixie.
-Garry Llewellyn, The Silver Hedgehog
What Is Pixie?
Directed by Barnaby Thompson (2007 and 2009 St Tinian’s Movies), Pixie is an Irish black comedy, that takes its name from its central character played by Olivia Cooke. Daughter of gang boss Dermot O’Brien (Colm Meaney), Pixie sets out a plan to avenge her mother’s death, mastermind a heist and escape to art school in San Francisco . The plan goes wrong, and two young men (Ben Hardy and Daryl McCormack) inadvertently get involved. Once a slightly psychotic Pixie realises that the lads have 1 Million pounds worth of drugs on them, and no clue what to do with it, she insists on teaming up with them as they are chased across the Irish countryside by gangsters and priests with guns!
Pixie Stand Out Casting
Olivia Cooke as Pixie
This film would not work without spot on casting for Pixie. Pixie is written as a strong, scheming, free spirted character. Taking no crap off anyone and having an absolute blast in her own world. Think a cross between Harley Quinn (Bird Of Prey) and Lucy (Scarlet Johansson), with a level of scheming that would make Danny Ocean proud. Noted for playing Emma Decody in Bates Motel, casting Olivia Cooke was the right decision. Sporting an enigmatic smile throughout the film, Cooke brings to life the character and embus her with a certain level of life experience that the lads simply do not have. Cooke is then able to play off this strength and naivety at times to comedic effect. Its also worth noting that Cooke is not Irish and her accent is pretty decent.
Ben Hardy as Frank McCullen & Darly Mccormack as Harland McKenna
Hardy and Mccormack excel in playing a couple of 20 something lads, both in over their heads. The characters are slightly dumb and winging their way through life, that is until Pixies arrives at their caravan and insistence on a road trip. The trio of Hardy, Mccormack and Cooke really do gel together well and share a palpable onscreen chemistry. Something that may have been real as the IMDB trivia suggests that Ben Hardy and Olivia Cooke formed a relationship while filming. Unfortunately, the two lads don’t have a great character arc and end the film pretty much the same characters as they started
Colm Meaney as Dermot O’Brien
No film set in Ireland would be complete without somehow shoehorning Colm Meany on screen. He pops up in loads of films and tv series from Star Trek to Layer cake and is always a joy to watch. In this film however, we simply do not see enough of Colm Meany on screen. Here he is playing Gangster dad O’Brien, a gang boss with an ongoing feud with a rival gang…of priests. His scenes are brief (Directors you should stop being Meany with Meany!) but they do drive the plot forward and provide a back story on Pixies revenge arc.
Alec Baldwin as Alec Baldwin as Father Hector McGrath
Baldwin has a few less scenes than Meany which verge on Cameo territory, his scenes are vital for the plot though as Father Hector McGrath is Dermot O’Brien’s rival. The good news is that Alec Baldwin looks to be taking the role seriously, even when handing out guns to nuns and is a complete contrast to his performance in Drunk Parents.
Fans of the Young Offenders series will also happy that Alex Murphy turns up for a few scenes, although uncredited.
Pixie Production Values
Pixie Score and soundtrack.
David Holmes (Ocean’s Eleven, Killing Eve, Haywire) and Gerry Diver (award winning record producer) teamed up to co-score Pixie.
The pair have done an okay job. The score lets the film breathe and only kicks in to aid the activities on screen. A mix of synth and Irish instruments (I suspect an Irish Bouzouki and a fiddle are involved) Nothing seemed jarring or out of place and was nice to listen to. Needle drops are used to comedic effect and are weaved into the film with skill and care, again blending into the background. For example ‘Hit Or Miss’ by Odetta starting a scene, moving to a background track playing on car radio and then being referred to by one of the characters.
Pixie is presented in basic Dolby Digital and the mix works great, no issues with sound quality, even though its not the best standard.
Sadly, I have not been able to locate the films score / soundtrack on streaming services. Leaving the listener to locate individual tracks and create their own playlist.
We watched Pixie on DVD from Cinema Paradiso. The DVD format works perfectly fine for this type of film. No Blu-ray or 4k located at the time of writing, and I suspect we will not see it released on these formats.
Thoughts On Pixie
Barnaby Thompson’s Fragile Films have carved out a particular niche of producing fun yet forgettable British comedies (think Spice World, the St. Trinian’s movie remakes and Burke and Hare). This trend continues with Pixie. A film that has fun playing with the styles of directors such as Tarantino and Guy Richie and Sergio Leone whilst not settling on what direction to go in.
It’s a shame that Thompson does not come close to hitting the high bar that these directors set. Not to say this is a bad thing, it evokes a certain level of nostalgia and makes me want to go back and watch Snatch again.
Pixie doesn’t have the sharpest script. It has a convoluted family plot running through the film, this involves a stepbrother channelling ‘a lot of hate’ towards Pixie, the two aforementioned gangs having beef with each other. Maybe it’s the films 93 min run time, or maybe its Thompson’s writing but it’s obvious that no time was spent in production considering any character development
All this considered, it was nice to watch a relatively simple well-acted film that was not over thought. Cooke is definitely the standout from this film and I hope she goes on to bigger and better things.
I wonder what Fragile films will bring us next?
Find Out More About Pixie
Age Rating 15
Release Date 23 October 2020
Producers:Preston Thompson, Preston Thompson
Genres:British Films, Comedy, Drama, Thrillers
Staring Olivia Cooke, Fra Fee, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Pat Shortt, Frankie McCafferty, Esme Thompson, Chris Walley, Ben Hardy, Daryl McCormack, Colm Meaney, Packy Lee, Turlough Convery, Olivia Byrne, Brenda McNeill, Alec Baldwin, Barbara Adair, Donal O’Farrell, Ned Dennehy, David Rawle, Eoin Duffy
Runtime 1 hr 33 min
Editor for Silver Hedgehog JJ
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