Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Sundance: Keanu Reeves Opens The Door To Trouble In Teaser Trailer For Eli Roth's 'Knock Knock' Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: 8-Minute Video Essay Argues Steve McQueen's 'Shame' Is Actually A Critique Of The Modern Metropolis Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' Watch: The Tampon Scene From 'Fifty Shades Of Grey' You Won't See In The Movie Recreated With 'The Sims' 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins 'Death Proof' Star Zoe Bell Leads Latest Additions To Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' As Filming Begins Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Ranked From Best To Worst: Every Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize Winner Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Watch: 'Saturday Night Live' Sketch 'Fanatic' Written & Directed By Paul Thomas Anderson And Starring Ben Affleck Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson Check Out These Minimalist, Old School Paperback-Style Posters For The Films Of Wes Anderson First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' First Look: Leonardo DiCaprio Gets Grimy In Alejandro González Iñárritu's 'The Revenant' The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 30 Most Anticipated Movies Of The 2015 Sundance Film Festival The 10 Best Films Of 2001 The 10 Best Films Of 2001 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment 2015 Oscar Nominees Get The Honest Poster Treatment Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Watch: Full 90-Minute Documentary 'Great Directors' With David Lynch, Richard Linklater, Todd Haynes And More Exclusive: Matthew Gray Gubler Has Flashbacks In Clip From 'Suburban Gothic' Exclusive: Matthew Gray Gubler Has Flashbacks In Clip From 'Suburban Gothic' The 10 Best Films Of 2000 The 10 Best Films Of 2000 "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice "Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 20 Most Anticipated Foreign Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Interview: Director Matthew Saville Talks TIFF Crime Pic 'Felony' Written By & Starring Joel Edgerton

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 3, 2013 at 2:03PM

While Joel Edgerton has no shortage of friends and collaborators he could have chosen to direct his script for the crime drama "Felony," he landed on Matthew Saville, a TV veteran with a couple of feature films under his belt as well. Edgerton had been impressed with the filmmaker's 2007 Aussie TV movie "The King: The Story of Graham Kennedy" and thus begun the journey to bring the actor's movie to the big screen. "The whole thing started with Joel. He wrote it and approached me about four years ago," Saville explained when we caught up with him over the phone. He was enthusiastic about the experience of working with Edgerton and the result of their teamwork will be seen next week at the Toronto International Film Festival.
0
Felony

While Joel Edgerton has no shortage of friends and collaborators he could have chosen to direct his script for the crime drama "Felony," he landed on Matthew Saville, a TV veteran with a couple of feature films under his belt as well. Edgerton had been impressed with the filmmaker's 2007 Aussie TV movie "The King: The Story of Graham Kennedy" and thus begun the journey to bring the actor's movie to the big screen. "The whole thing started with Joel. He wrote it and approached me about four years ago," Saville explained when we caught up with him over the phone. He was enthusiastic about the experience of working with Edgerton and the result of their teamwork will be seen next week at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Co-starring Tom Wilkinson, Jai Courtney and Melissa George, "Felony" centers on Malcolm Toohey (Edgerton), an outstanding cop and beloved family man. But one mistake made during an arrest, followed by an attempt to cover it up, sets his world spiralling as he tries to keep ahead of a situation that threatens to expose him. Wilkinson plays a man caught up in Malcom's transgression, with Courtney as the cop's hotheaded young partner. While on the surface this might sound like a handful of other similarly themed pictures about cops and compromised morals, Saville asserts that this has much more to it. "The first thing I was really taken by was the honesty of it. It didn't feel like a contrived narrative, it felt frighteningly plausible," he shared. "And Joel being an actor, writes from that perspective. So the dialogue is spot on — he's got a poet's ear for dialogue. More than any other script I read, it was very clear about where all the characters were emotionally."

Matthew Saville

And it's that focus on characters versus the mechanics of the plot that Saville embraced, allowing him to riff on the kinds of movies he's come to treasure. "Basically my favourite period in cinema history is '70s American iconoclasts — Coppola and Scorsese and all those guys. I was often thinking about an Alan J. Pakula film called 'Klute' when we were making this," the director shared, noting that the movie isn't so much about being cop as it is about the people who are behind the badge. 

As always, it's one thing to have a script and quite another to bring it to life, but Saville suggests that in filming the movie, the material actually became richer. "The surprise for me was how philosophical the film became, how emotional it became," adding that it really transformed once the cameras were rolling; "You can read it off the page, but once a talented actor brings voice and life and breath to the all these different intricacies that can't be described in script form...".

"Felony" continued to unpack different layers as it went into the editing process. "Something that Rose[mary Blight], the producer, said toward the end of the edit that hit me as a revelation was that, there was a sense in this triangle of characters — Tom's character and Joel's and Jai's — was that they're actually playing the same person in three different stages of their lives." It's an intriguing analysis of a film that promises to be a rather penetrating look at duty to one's job and colleagues.

"Felony" arrives at TIFF soon, but until then, check out a clip and photos from the movie below.

Felony
Felony
Felony

This article is related to: Felony, Joel Edgerton, Tom Wilkinson, Jai Courtney, Melissa George, TIFF, Toronto International Film Festival, Interviews, Interview, Interviews


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates