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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

a very little bit of David Tennant: ‘Jude’

It’s only one tiny scene in the 1996 film Jude, but it’s kinda notable, in a totally nerdy way, because in it, David Tennant gets to taunt Christopher Eccleston (that is, Doctor No. 9):

This is about the best shot I could get with both actors in it, because director Michael Winterbottom has to be so damn arty about his films (disclaimer: Winterbottom is one of my favorite directors, so I kid out of love).
The context is: Eccleston is a poor workingman of no notable family who wants to study at university, but he’s just been turned down because, you know, he’s nobody, and worse, he’s a nobody labourer (with a u). So while he’s drowning his sorrows he insists to a pal that yes he sure can recite some bit of nonsense or other in Latin, just like a university man would be able to do. And Tennant’s obnoxious university student overhears that and invites him to stand before all the pub and do so. Which he does.

That’s it. Tennant’s got one line. As always, though, he looks marvehlous, dahling:

Not suitable for:

• anyone who doesn’t want to sit through the rest of Jude, which is freakin’ depressing as hell, lemme tell ya…

David Tennant checklist:

• Scottish accent: yes
• big hair: no
• nudity: no
• sex: no
• insufferable twitness: yes
• alcohol: yes
• evil twitching: no
• manic grinning: no

[buy a used Region 1 copy at Amazon (it’s out of print in the U.S. and Canada)]
[buy a new Region 2 copy; only £6 — cheap!]

[part of my “summer of David Tennant and ‘Hamlet’” series]

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