Insinuendos in the Hacienda: ‘Sexy Beast’ at 20

Sexy Beast is not your typical gangster movie. That much is clear from the opening shot of Ray Winstone’s big, rotund, bronzed belly as he bakes on a sun lounger in a yellow Speedo. There are just two uses of voiceover throughout the 2001 film; the first occurs as the camera settles on Winstone’s Gal, a retired gangster living a quiet life under the at times too-hot Spanish sun. “Bloody ‘ell,” Winstone intones in that instantly recognizable cockney drawl, “I’m sweatin’ ‘ere.” Ivan Bird’s cinematography goes beyond sun-drenched, it’s downright sweaty, clinging to the actors’ skin like the beads of moisture on Gal’s belly. As if that wasn’t a brazened enough introduction, less than a minute later, the camera
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