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Layer Cake (film)

Layer Cake (film)

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Encyclopedia
Layer Cake is a 2004
2004 in film
The year 2004 in film involved some significant events. Major releases of sequels took place. It included blockbuster films like Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Passion of the Christ, Meet the Fockers, Blade: Trinity, Spider-Man 2, Alien vs. Predator, Kill Bill Vol...

 British
Cinema of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has had a major influence on modern cinema. The first moving pictures developed on celluloid film were made in Hyde Park, London in 1889 by William Friese Greene, a British inventor, who patented the process in 1890. It is generally regarded that the British film industry...

 crime
Crime film
Crime films are films which focus on the lives of criminals. The stylistic approach to a crime film varies from realistic portrayals of real-life criminal figures, to the far-fetched evil doings of imaginary arch-villains. Criminal acts are almost always glorified in these movies.- Plays and films...

 thriller produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn
Matthew Vaughn
Matthew Vaughn is an English film producer and director known for producing such films as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch and directing the films Layer Cake , Stardust and Kick-Ass...

, in his directorial debut. It is based on the novel Layer Cake
Layer Cake (novel)
Layer Cake is the debut novel of British author J. J. Connolly, first published in 2000 by Duckworth Literary. It was made into a motion picture in 2004 , directed by Matthew Vaughn and written for the screen by Connolly himself.-Plot introduction:The book takes place in nineties London and is...

by J. J. Connolly
J. J. Connolly
J.J. Connolly is the writer of the crime novel, Layer Cake, and of the screenplay of the film based on it.Connolly has recently finished the sequel to Layer Cake entitled Viva La Madness. Only two characters remain from Layer Cake, the unnamed narrator and his partner in crime, Mister Mortimer, AKA...

.

The title refers to the human social strata, especially in the British criminal underworld, as well as the numerous plot layers in the film.

Plot


The unnamed chief protagonist (Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig
Daniel Wroughton Craig is an English actor. His early film roles include Elizabeth, The Power of One, A Kid in King Arthur's Court and the television episodes Sharpe's Eagle, Zorro and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Daredevils of the Desert...

), identified in the closing credits only as XXXX, has established a successful business in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 buying, cutting, and selling cocaine
Cocaine
Cocaine is a crystalline tropane alkaloid that is obtained from the leaves of the coca plant. The name comes from "coca" in addition to the alkaloid suffix -ine, forming cocaine. It is a stimulant of the central nervous system, an appetite suppressant, and a topical anesthetic...

 while avoiding the largesse and gangster behaviour associated with drug dealing. Having made his fortune, he plans to retire from the business for good.

X's powerful supplier, Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham
Kenneth Cranham
Kenneth Cranham is a film, television and stage actor. He starred in the title role in the popular 1980s comedy drama Shine on Harvey Moon. He also appeared in Layer Cake, Gangster No. 1, Rome, Oliver! and many other films. He is probably best known to horror genre fans as the deranged Dr...

) sends him to track down Charlie, the teenage daughter of Price's associate, Eddie Temple (Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Sir Michael John Gambon, CBE is an Irish actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. A highly respected theatre actor, Gambon is recognised for his roles as Philip Marlowe in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and as...

), who has fled a rehabilitation centre with her drug-addicted boyfriend. In reality, but not yet known, X is being sent to kidnap Charlie to help Jimmy blackmail Temple over a bad investment.

At the same time, Price instructs X to organize the purchase and distribution of one million ecstasy
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine
MDMA is an entactogenic drug of the phenethylamine and amphetamine class of drugs. In popular culture, MDMA has become widely known as "ecstasy" , usually referring to its street pill form, although this term may also include the presence of possible adulterants...

 tablets from a gangster named The Duke (Jamie Foreman
Jamie Foreman
Jamie Foreman is an English actor best known for his roles as Duke in Layer Cake and Bill Sikes in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist . He played opposite Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke in Gary Oldman's Nil by Mouth and also featured in Elizabeth , Gangster No. 1 and Sleepy Hollow...

). Unbeknownst to X, the pills have been stolen from a gang of Serbian
Serbs
The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

 war criminals in Holland. Jimmy has found out about X's plans to retire, and believes that either the Serbian gang or Eddie Temple's mercenaries will kill X, allowing him to recover some of his losses. The accountant used by X has stolen his money, having been working for Price. Meanwhile, X encounters The Duke's idiotic nephew, Sidney (Ben Whishaw
Ben Whishaw
Benjamin John "Ben" Whishaw is an English actor who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Whishaw is perhaps best known for his breakthrough role as Hamlet, and his role as the lead character in Tom Tykwer's film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.-Early life:Whishaw was born and raised in...

) at a bar, and becomes attracted to Sidney's bored girlfriend Tammy (Sienna Miller
Sienna Miller
Sienna Rose Diana Miller is a British-American actress, model, and fashion designer, best known for her roles in Layer Cake, Alfie, Factory Girl, The Edge of Love and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. In 2007, the London Film Criticsnamed her British Actress of the Year for Interview...

).

X's world gradually unravels as he discovers Jimmy Price is informing for the police; X's associate, Morty (George Harris
George Harris (actor)
George William Harris is a British actor of film, stage, television, radio and musical theatre. His notable roles include Kingsley Shacklebolt in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Captain Simon Katanga in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Clive King in popular medical drama Casualty, where he...

) goes into hiding after brutally beating and scalding a former associate with boiling tea in a cafe; the Duke and his gang mysteriously disappear; and the ruthless Eddie Temple involves himself in the already bungled ecstasy deal.

X devises an elaborate scam to play his various adversaries off against one another and ends up in the clear with most of his enemies dead, even after Temple steals the Ecstasy by withholding all payment other than a lifetime membership to the exclusive Stoke Park Club
Stoke Park Club
Stoke Park is a historic estate in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. The Mansion is located amongst of parkland, lakes, historic gardens and monuments. The site is now a hotel, spa and country club....

. Afterwards, Trevor and Shanks lead an armed assault on Temple's associates, stealing the ecstasy from them. X sticks to his original plan to retire, but as he and Tammy leave a celebratory lunch with his associates, he is shot on the front steps of the country house restaurant by Sidney who remarks "sorry" in an apologetic manner as he drops the gun and flees. X lies bleeding on the steps, his fate unknown.

Cast

  • Daniel Craig
    Daniel Craig
    Daniel Wroughton Craig is an English actor. His early film roles include Elizabeth, The Power of One, A Kid in King Arthur's Court and the television episodes Sharpe's Eagle, Zorro and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Daredevils of the Desert...

     as XXXX
  • Colm Meaney
    Colm Meaney
    Colm J. Meaney is an Irish actor widely known for playing Miles O'Brien in Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He is second only to Michael Dorn in most appearances in Star Trek episodes. He has guest-starred on many TV shows from Law & Order to The Simpsons...

     as Gene
  • Kenneth Cranham
    Kenneth Cranham
    Kenneth Cranham is a film, television and stage actor. He starred in the title role in the popular 1980s comedy drama Shine on Harvey Moon. He also appeared in Layer Cake, Gangster No. 1, Rome, Oliver! and many other films. He is probably best known to horror genre fans as the deranged Dr...

     as Jimmy Price
  • George Harris
    George Harris (actor)
    George William Harris is a British actor of film, stage, television, radio and musical theatre. His notable roles include Kingsley Shacklebolt in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Captain Simon Katanga in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Clive King in popular medical drama Casualty, where he...

     as Morty
  • Jamie Foreman
    Jamie Foreman
    Jamie Foreman is an English actor best known for his roles as Duke in Layer Cake and Bill Sikes in Roman Polanski's Oliver Twist . He played opposite Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke in Gary Oldman's Nil by Mouth and also featured in Elizabeth , Gangster No. 1 and Sleepy Hollow...

     as The Duke
  • Sienna Miller
    Sienna Miller
    Sienna Rose Diana Miller is a British-American actress, model, and fashion designer, best known for her roles in Layer Cake, Alfie, Factory Girl, The Edge of Love and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. In 2007, the London Film Criticsnamed her British Actress of the Year for Interview...

     as Tammy
  • Michael Gambon
    Michael Gambon
    Sir Michael John Gambon, CBE is an Irish actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. A highly respected theatre actor, Gambon is recognised for his roles as Philip Marlowe in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and as...

     as Eddie Temple
  • Marcel Iureş
    Marcel Iures
    Marcel Iureş is a Romanian stage and screen actor.Iureş was born 2 August 1951 in Băileşti, Romania and is one of Romania's most acclaimed stage and film actors. Iureş entered the Institutul de Arta Teatrala si Cinematografica in Bucharest in 1974 and graduated in 1978...

     as Slavo
  • Tom Hardy
    Tom Hardy
    Edward Thomas "Tom" Hardy is an English actor. He is best known for playing the title character in the 2008 British film Bronson, the character of Eames in Inception, and the villain Praetor Shinzon in Star Trek Nemesis...

     as Clarkie
  • Tamer Hassan
    Tamer Hassan
    Tamer Hassan is a British actor of Turkish Cypriot descent.-Early life:Hassan was born in London, England into a Turkish Cypriot family. Having sustained an injury in boxing, Hassan started to run nightclubs and restaurants and is now the owner, chairman and player/coach of Greenwich Borough and...

     as Terry
  • Ben Whishaw
    Ben Whishaw
    Benjamin John "Ben" Whishaw is an English actor who trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Whishaw is perhaps best known for his breakthrough role as Hamlet, and his role as the lead character in Tom Tykwer's film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.-Early life:Whishaw was born and raised in...

     as Sidney
  • Burn Gorman
    Burn Gorman
    Burn Hugh Gorman is an American-born English actor and musician. Burn is best known for his roles as Owen Harper in Torchwood and as William Guppy in Bleak House.-Personal life:...

     as Gazza
  • Sally Hawkins
    Sally Hawkins
    Sally Cecilia Hawkins is an English actress. Her performance as Poppy in the 2008 film Happy-Go-Lucky won her several international awards, including the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy...

     as Slasher
  • Dexter Fletcher
    Dexter Fletcher
    Dexter Fletcher is an English actor. He is best known for his role in Guy Ritchie film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels as well as television roles in such shows as the dramedy Hotel Babylon, the critically acclaimed HBO series Band of Brothers and earlier in his career, the children's show...

     as Cody
  • Steve John Shepherd
    Steve John Shepherd
    -Career:Shepherd first became known in 1996, when he played the role of Jo, the law clerk, in the critically acclaimed BBC drama This Life. He remained in the role for two series...

     as Tiptoes
  • Louis Emerick
    Louis Emerick
    Louis Emerick, born 10 June 1960, Liverpool, England, UK, is a British TV actor, best known for his portrayal of Mick Johnson in the soap opera Brookside....

     as Trevor
  • Stephen Walters as Shanks
  • Paul Orchard as Lucky
  • Dragan Mićanović
    Dragan Mićanović
    Dragan Mićanović is a Serbian actor. International audiences probably best know him for his roles in the films Layer Cake , The White Countess and RocknRolla . Mićanović played his first role abroad in Hamlet at the Globe Theatre.-Personal life:Mićanović was married to Serbian actress Ana...

     as Dragan
  • Nick Thomas-Webster as Dragan's henchman
  • Nathalie Lunghi
    Nathalie Lunghi
    Natalie Kathlene Lunghi-Joffé is a British actress.The daughter of Cherie Lunghi and Roland Joffé, and half sister of Rowan Joffé, she may be best known for her roles as "Geri West" in the BBC Three teenage drama The Things I Haven't Told You, and "Princess Isabelle" in the ITV1 comedy drama The...

     as Charlie
  • Jason Flemyng
    Jason Flemyng
    Jason Iain Flemyng is an English actor. He is known for his film work, which has included roles in British films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch , both for Guy Ritchie, as well as Hollywood productions such as Rob Roy along with the Alan Moore comic book adaptations From...

     as Crazy Larry

Soundtrack


The soundtrack from Layer Cake is composed of 14 tracks.
  1. "Hayling" - FC Kahuna
    FC Kahuna
    FC Kahuna are a British DJ and electronic music production duo, consisting of Jon Nowell and Daniel Ormondroyd. FC Kahuna released Machine Says Yes in the spring of 2002, which had a number of singles released from it, most notably "Machine Says Yes" and "Hayling", which both featured Icelandic...

  2. "Opening" - Ilan Eshkeri
    Ilan Eshkeri
    - Early life :Eshkeri was born in London. During his childhood, he learned to play the violin and guitar and later went on to play in a rock band. Eshkeri attended Leeds University where he studied music and English literature...

     and Steve McLaughlin
  3. "She Sells Sanctuary
    She Sells Sanctuary
    "She Sells Sanctuary" is a song by the English rock band The Cult. It is from their 1985 album Love and was released as a single in May of that year, peaking at no.15 in the UK Singles Chart.The band has released various versions of the song...

    " - The Cult
    The Cult
    The Cult are a British rock band that was formed in 1983. They gained a dedicated following in Britain in the mid 1980s as a post-punk band with singles such as "She Sells Sanctuary", before breaking mainstream in the United States in the late 1980s as a hard rock band with singles such as "Love...

  4. "Can't Get Blue Monday Out of My Head
    Can't Get You out of My Head
    "Can't Get You Out of My Head" is a song by Australian recording artist and songwriter Kylie Minogue, which was released from her eighth studio album Fever . The song was released worldwide as the lead single from the album, which was released on 8 September, 2001. The song was written and produced...

    " (Original Radio Edit) - Kylie Minogue
    Kylie Minogue
    Kylie Ann Minogue, OBE - often known simply as Kylie - is an Australian singer, recording artist, songwriter, and actress. After beginning her career as a child actress on Australian television, she achieved recognition through her role in the television soap opera Neighbours, before commencing...

  5. "You Got the Love
    You Got the Love
    "You Got the Love" is a 1986 single by the band The Source and Candi Staton. One of its many remixers also adopted the name The Source. In 2008, the song was recorded by English soul singer Joss Stone for her fourth studio album, "Colour Me Free!" released in October 2009...

    " (Original bootleg radio mix) - The Source
    The Source (musician)
    The Source originally started out as an alias of unknown origin for Source Records's 1986 single release "You Got the Love" which featured Candi Staton. In 1989, DJ Eren, put Candi Staton's vocals over a track by Jamie Principle called "Your Love" which became a club hit. This was also released on...

     feat. Candi Staton
    Candi Staton
    Candi Staton is an American soul and gospel singer, best known for her 1970 remake of Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man" and her 1976 disco hit "Young Hearts Run Free". In 2007, Staton was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame.-Early years:...

  6. "Drive to the Boatyard" - Ilan Eshkeri
  7. "Junky Fight" - Lisa Gerrard
    Lisa Gerrard
    Lisa Gerrard is an Australian musician, singer, and composer who rose to prominence as part of the music group Dead Can Dance with former music partner Brendan Perry....

  8. "Making Plans for Nigel" - XTC
    XTC
    XTC were a New Wave band from Swindon, England, active between 1976 and 2005. The band enjoyed some chart success, including the UK and Canadian hits "Making Plans for Nigel" and "Senses Working Overtime" , but are perhaps even better known for their long-standing critical success.- Early years:...

  9. "Ordinary World
    Ordinary World
    "Ordinary World" is the first single from Duran Duran's self-titled 1993 album, better known as The Wedding Album. The song peaked at No. 3 in the American charts and No. 6 in the British charts...

    " - Duran Duran
    Duran Duran
    Duran Duran are an English band, formed in Birmingham in 1978. They were one of the most successful bands of the 1980s and a leading band in the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the United States...

  10. "Ruthless Gravity" - Craig Armstrong
  11. "Four to the Floor
    Four to the Floor
    "Four to the Floor" is a hit single by the band Starsailor. The song was released as the third and final single from the band's second album Silence Is Easy...

    " (Soulsavers Mix) - Starsailor
    Starsailor (band)
    Starsailor is an English post-britpop band, formed in Leigh, Warrington and Greater Manchester. By 2009, they had four charting albums and ten Top 40 singles in the UK since 2001.-Early history:...

  12. "Drive To The Warehouse" - Ilan Eshkeri and Lisa Gerrard
  13. "Aria" (Layer Cake Speech) - Lisa Gerrard with Michael Gambon
    Michael Gambon
    Sir Michael John Gambon, CBE is an Irish actor who has worked in theatre, television and film. A highly respected theatre actor, Gambon is recognised for his roles as Philip Marlowe in the BBC television serial The Singing Detective, as Jules Maigret in the 1990s ITV serial Maigret, and as...

  14. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
    Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
    "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" is a song written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell and Sol Marcus for the singer/pianist Nina Simone, who first recorded it in 1964. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" has been recorded or performed by many artists, and is widely known by the 1965 blues rock hit...

    " - Joe Cocker
    Joe Cocker
    John Robert "Joe" Cocker, OBE is an English rock and blues musician, composer and actor, who came to popularity in the 1960s, and is most known for his gritty voice, his idiosyncratic arm movements while performing, and his cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of The Beatles...



The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band, formed in London in April 1962 by Brian Jones , Ian Stewart , Mick Jagger , and Keith Richards . Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early line-up...

 song "Gimme Shelter
Gimme Shelter
"Gimme Shelter" is a song by English rock band The Rolling Stones. It first appeared as the opening track on the band's 1969 album Let It Bleed. Although the first word was spelled "Gimmie" on that album, subsequent recordings by the band and other musicians have made "Gimme" the customary spelling...

" also features in the film but does not appear on the soundtrack album.

Box office performance

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
Worldwide United States United States International Worldwide All time United States All time worldwide
Layer Cake
Layer Cake (film)
Layer Cake is a 2004 British crime thriller produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn, in his directorial debut. It is based on the novel Layer Cake by J. J...

May 2005 May 2005 $2,339,957 $9,510,257 $11,850,214 #5,288 Unknown $6,500,000

Critical reception

Film Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

All Critics Top Critics Audience
Layer Cake
Layer Cake (film)
Layer Cake is a 2004 British crime thriller produced and directed by Matthew Vaughn, in his directorial debut. It is based on the novel Layer Cake by J. J...

81% (133 reviews) 84% (31 reviews) 83% (135,446 reviews) 73/100 (30 reviews) A


Layer Cake received positive reviews, with an 81% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

. The film has an average score of 73 based on 30 reviews on Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

.

Daniel Craig's starring role in the film has been cited as the performance that led to his high-profile casting as James Bond
James Bond
James Bond, code name 007, is a fictional character created in 1953 by writer Ian Fleming, who featured him in twelve novels and two short story collections. There have been a six other authors who wrote authorised Bond novels or novelizations after Fleming's death in 1964: Kingsley Amis,...

.

External links