London: "Dirty Pretty Things"

The British capital has emerged as a glamorous destination in many films, including Donen's "Indiscreet" and "Arabesque." But the most haunting depiction of this major metropolis may be a 2003 film that ignores familiar landmarks such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace: Stephen Frears' gritty urban thriller, which is set in parts of the city that tourists rarely see. This movie reminds us that London, like so many other European capitals, has become largely a city of immigrants. The main characters are a Nigerian doctor ( Chiwetel Ejiofor), a Turkish woman ( Audrey Tautou) and a Spanish hustler (Sergi Lopez), along with various Asians, Middle Easterners and Russians. In an amusing reversal of most British movies, the only white Anglo-Saxons on view are bit players in the background.
Laurie Sparham / Miramax Films
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