If the name Irvine Welsh sounds familiar, then maybe you’ve seen Trainspotting (1996), or The Acid House (1998), or maybe Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (2011) – okay, let’s be realistic, odds are you haven’t seen the latter two. Well, all three of those films were adaptations of prose by author, Welsh, who is in fact Scottish – Trainspotting from a novel, Acid House from a collection of short stories, and Ecstasy from just one short story. Now there’s another name on the list of Welsh adaptations: John S. Baird’s Filth (based on the novel of the same name) was released in Scottland in September, received a wider UK release in October, and now looks to be heading for North America next year.
Welsh’s work tends to focus on the dimmer, depressing aspects of humanity – though almost always with a sense of humor – and Filth (both novel and film) looks to be no different. James McAvoy stars as Bruce Robertson, a drug-addicted, bipolar, violent, angry, misanthrope, who unleashes all types of abuse on anyone who catches his fancy, and also happens to be a cop. Eddie Marsan (The World’s End) co-starts, along with Jim Broadbent (Cloud Atlas), Imogen Poots (Jane Eyre), and Jamie Bell (also Jane Eyre; The Adventures of Tintin).
This is Jon S. Baird’s second outing as writer and director after 2008’s Cass, a biopic starring Nonso Anozie (Happy-Go-Lucky, Game of Thrones) as prisoner-turned-author, Cass Pennant.