Matthew Cullen‘s London Fields “was selected to be screened in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, but it was later pulled from the festival roster after Cullen sued the film’s producers, accusing them of fraud and using his name to promote a cut of the film he does not support.”
From Kaleem Adtab’s 9.17.15 review, published by The Independent: “Images of a world in chaos flash throughout the film, which is told from the perspective of an American writer who has come to London to seek inspiration for a new novel.
“Billy Bob Thornton plays Samson Young, trying to overcome writer’s block by sampling the underbelly of London life. He is a quiet, lonely figure who complains that he has a bad imagination. Given that much of what happens on screen comes from his imagination, this is a big problem. Most scenes lack pace, are performed badly and are accompanied by a running commentary of action we can see for ourselves. It’s car-crash film-making.
“Young has two suspects in mind: a cockney hooligan who dreams of being a darts champion (Jim Sturgess) and a city slicker (Theo James) who is bored with his seemingly idyllic life. All three parts of this love triangle give dire performances and when the action settles on their shenanigans the film falls apart, and the early promise of an inquiry into the writing process, à la Adaptation, goes by the wayside. Of the characters it’s only the uncredited Johnny Depp, the coolest guy in the room with his dapper dress sense and long sideburns, who comes away with any credit.
“There is also a marked contrast between the London seen in the archive footage and that shot by Cullen, whose locations look like bad theatre sets. It never feels real, although he might argue that that is the point. London Quicksand might have been a better title.”