Director Stephen Frears returns to the grittier themes of his earlier films for the urban thriller Dirty Pretty Things. Residing in London, the medically trained Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is a Nigerian immigrant working as a taxi driver and a hotel concierge, but he still lives on the edge of poverty. He shares a room with Senay (Amélie's Audrey Tautou making her English-language debut), a Turkish refugee who works as a maid at the hotel. As illegal immigrants, Okwe and Senay live in fear of being deported. One night, working at the front desk, Okwe receives a call from prostitute Juliette (Sophie Okonedo) to check a broken toilet, where he makes a horrifying discovery. He reports it to the manager Sneaky (Sergi Lopez), who blackmails Okwe into staying quiet about it. Okwe soon discovers the presence of a shady business operation that sends him into the seedy London underworld. Senay becomes lured in with hopes of being able to fund her escape to America. Dirty Pretty Things marks the screenwriting debut of Steve Knight, co-creator of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
- MPAA Rating: R
- Genre(s): Drama
- Run Time: 94min.
- Theatrical Release Date: 07/18/2003
- DVD Release Date: 03/23/2004
- Distributor(s): Miramax
- Themes: Fighting the System,Unlikely Friendships,Blackmail,Immigrant Life
- Tone: Gritty,Intimate,Menacing,Poignant,Tense
black-market, blackmail, hotel, illegal-alien, immigration-official, maid, organ-donor, organ-transplant, poverty, underworld
- Country of Origin: U.K. (12-13-2002),USA - Limited (07-18-2003),UK (12-13-2002)
- Language: English