Dirty Pretty Things

by MICHAEL PASTORINO · July 17, 2008

Dirty Pretty Things“I will make it to New York,” Senay tells Okwe, as the two immigrants attempt some semblance of normal British life, drinking wine and dining with the closest thing they’ve got to family. In this great scene, Okwe asks whether Senay cleaned the 5th floor of the hotel where they both work, a seemingly standard bit of dinner conversation cloaking his real question: whether she too had seen the remnants of a guest, which he found in room 510.

Okwe’s question is a microcosm of the life they lead, that is, the life of the illegal, the shunned, the untouchables of contemporary London, who operate just below the surface. Audrey Tautou and Chiwetel Ejiofor are fantastic in Stephen Frears’ 2002 masterpiece, which blows away more recent immigration movies, Under the Same Moon and The Visitor.