A hem! Mark Rylance cuts it brilliantly in this seamless whodunit

Who pulled the trigger when the criminal police returned? The list of suspects is long and tempting – as it should be. Could it have been Rian Johnson, the enigmatic writer and director of Knives Out and its upcoming sequel? Was it the nefarious Quentin Tarantino who passed The Hateful Eight off as a hard-nosed western when it was actually a classic parlor crime thriller, poisoned coffee pot and all? Or what about the dashing Kenneth Branagh, who began planning his series of Agatha Christie adaptations in 2015?

Whoever the culprit may have been, it’s fun to see this long-defunct genre making a tongue-in-cheek revival – and The Outfit is another fine addition to the canon. Co-written and directed by Graham Moore, whose screenplay won an Oscar for the 2015 Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game, it’s a thing of mousy, understated elegance – and as intricately constructed as the suits sewn by Leonard Burling (Mark Rylance). a former artisan from Savile Row who now plies his trade in snow-covered Chicago in the 1950s.

Just don’t call him Schneider. Leonard’s lineage makes him an editor – and his flair for chalk, tape and scissors is in high demand among the city’s best-dressed crooks. He is so popular with the Boyle family in particular – a burgeoning local Irish mob led by Simon Russell Beale’s Roy Boyle – that in his back room stands the gang’s dead mailbox, from which payments and messages from Roy’s son Richie are regularly checked , played by Dylan O’Brien, and his right-hand man Francis, played by Johnny Flynn.

But there is a problem: against this background of seams, one seam. It’s believed that someone is leaking information about the Boyle family to the FBI, and the film’s compact list of leads – Rylance, O’Brien and Flynn, plus Zoey Deutch as Leonard’s young assistant and semi-protégée Mable – means the culprit is the culprit is right under their noses and ours.

The outfit unfolds entirely over the course of a single eventful night at Leonard’s shop, ending with the mole’s identity being revealed – its title referring both to a local crime syndicate the Boyle family is trying to form ties with, and also on the suit that Rylance’s character is disguised as the film is trying to end even as all hell breaks loose. It’s a testament to the sophistication of Moore and Johnathan McClain’s screenplay that your suspicions constantly flit between all four parties, and the resolution – which takes a surprising but downright deserved turn to the macabre – still manages to surprise.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/outfit-review-hem-mark-rylance-cuts-brilliantly-seamless-whodunit/ A hem! Mark Rylance cuts it brilliantly in this seamless whodunit


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