In this almost forgotten masterpiece, Gary Oldman plays a dwarf and Peter Dinklage is a French Communist. Yep, it’s as wild as it sounds.
This is how you DON’T make a film about a serious issue.
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if I told you that there was a film in which Gary Oldman played a character with dwarfism you'd probably laugh in disbelief surely such a thing would never be allowed and such a great actor would never stoop so low literally ladies and gentlemen I give you tiptoes tiptoes is a perfect example of how not to make a film exploring sensitive issues it is probably the most unintentionally offensive film I've ever seen the cheesy and condescending title and tagline speak volumes the trailer makes this out to be a romantic comedy but it's actually a romantic drama that's meant to explore sensitive issues but it fails in every aspect the film is centred around tourism issues related to it and how other people perceive those with dwarfism the intentions behind this movie may have been noble and good but whatever positive impact it might have had was completely ruined by some truly awful mind-boggling decisions primarily the casting of Gary Oldman as a dwarf in what the film's trailer describes as the role of a lifetime not sure he'd agree with that now I have no problem with able-bodied actors playing characters with conditions or disabilities as long as it's done respectfully and Abele no that wasn't a pun get your mind out of the gutter consider my left foot in which Daniel day-lewis plays a poet with severe cerebral palsy and I am Sam which features Sean Penn playing a man with learning difficulties in both cases the actors clearly did their homework and their portrayals are nothing short of breathtaking earning them an Oscar and a nomination respectively but here it's like comparing a PhD dissertation with the average Donald Trump tweet you want to know what spellbinding techniques they used to make Gary Oldman look like a convincing dwarf you're not gonna believe this he gets on his knees oh yes and they made very little effort to hide it you can see quite clearly here that he's got his feet chopped up by his ass it's even more obvious when he tries to walk oh man I can't I can't do this I just can't they tried to explain this away by giving him a cane and a hunchback as Kate Beckinsale explained he was fitted with prosthetics and harnesses to make him hunched over and strap his arms back to make them look shorter that didn't work because they're still obviously far too long it was amazing what they did to him oh it sure was they also used body doubles for certain shots and camera angles to emphasize different heights but unlike in the Lord of the Rings where these techniques work flawlessly here the body doubles only serve to emphasize how unconvincing Gary Oldman's proportions are and the camera angles don't work because they don't hide how ridiculous he looks it's a travesty and it approaches blackface levels of misrepresentation I cannot imagine why they thought this was okay or what was going through Gary Oldman's head the whole time but to his credit he gives an incredible performance considering the material he was given although his southern US accent is pretty questionable you knocked up this great girl and you didn't tell her that her baby's probably gonna be little given how many dwarves appear in the film it's astonishing that the filmmakers couldn't find one to fill this role Peter Dinklage could have done it why not cast him oh yeah Peter Dinklage is in this and he absolutely 100% makes this film he plays prepare yourself for this a hedonistic sexist French radical communist as you can imagine he provides some of the best lines in the film the women's liberation movement is an excuse for every poor female Pig who needed a reason not to clean up after themselves he's paired up with Patricia Arquette who plays a stereotypical New Age hippie complete with dreadlocks and some choice quotes that's a great transition because they could lock you up in a loony bin these to provide the film's comic relief at least that's what I'm guessing they're toxic and volatile behavior provide a lot of the comedy and I can't think of any other reason why these characters would be in the film because apart from padding up the runtime they don't affect the plot in any significant way the main plot focuses on the relationship between Matthew McConaughey and Kate Beckinsale's characters they're meant to be getting married but there's not a lot of chemistry between them I'm sure they spend a lot of time in bed and she almost sucks his dick at one point but there's something stiff and insincere about their interactions like they're just going through the motions this is partly due to the actors themselves Matthew McConaughey is alright and they both have their good moments but Kate Beckinsale is atrociously wooden at times perhaps unsurprising she is the only one of the top the old actors who didn't go on to win an Academy Award just think about that for a second three actors in this film later won Oscars and this is their dirty little secret but anyway this relationship is also just a bit unconvincing because of the drama the characters create for themselves much of which is exaggerated contrived and so petty that it does nothing to endear them to the audience seriously they act like fucking children and it removes a lot of levity from the drama you know whatever levity was left after casting Gary Oldman as a dwarf alright before I go on another rant about that let's move on to the good stuff and go through the plot itself the title plays as Gary Oldman and Peter Dinklage tear up the highway on motorbikes we then see Matthew McConaughey and Kate Beckinsale's characters Stephen and Carol Stephen tells her he's going to see his family but won't give any more details he doesn't even stay long enough to get a blowjob that's a family man right there we go back to gary oldman and Peter Dinklage playing Rolfe and Maurice pissing on the side of the road they see Lucy played by Patricia Arquette get kicked off a coach probably for being a fucking weirdo so Maurice very generously offers her a ride so he can maybe get a ride himself if you know what I mean Stephen arrives at a convention for people with dwarfism where he meets his parents and his uncle the head of the little people's Defense League so he's a normal sized child of parents with dwarfism which is actually far from uncommon but he identifies as a dwarf himself he takes his uncle's daughter's dancing so the uncle can get some action you think I'm joking Ralph and company arrive at the convention where he meets Stephen and it turns out the two of brothers Maurice and Lucy going to steal food and almost immediately get kicked out Stephen goes home and Carol starts giving him grief because he won't tell her anything she then drops the bombshell that she's pregnant and he's not exactly over the moon about it meanwhile Ralph and his posse ride up to a seedy motel of course you do which is why you immediately start breaking things Lynch from Kane and Lynch mistakes Lucy for a prostitute which let's be honest is understandable there's only one room as a result we get this legendary exchange during the drunken shag Maurice starts writhing in pain but refuses to let Ralph call a doctor so Ralph says fuck this and abandons him he goes to see his ex-girlfriend Sally it's not specified but I'm fairly sure she's a prostitute and she's played by former porn star Bridget powers who is often credited as you guessed it bridget the midget when you learned that the original script written when writer director Matthew bright was only 18 was meant to be a raucous comedy about little people fucking each other this movie starts to make a lot more sense Sally who might be a prostitute wants to get back together with Ralph but he doesn't seem too bothered and then her friend or pimp or client we don't really know shows up asking for money he's not too happy about seeing a clearly superior male in her bedroom and she makes the situation so much worse because we are a drusy we're not fucking and then there's a fight scene and honestly it's glorious Rolf gets the hell out of there and goes to Steven's house but he's not there so he and Carol have a heart-to-heart Rolf reveals that he and Stephen are twins even though the actor looks and actually is a decade older than him Stephen hasn't mentioned anything about her to his family and nothing about his family to her which considering they're about to get married is shady as fuck and also completely unbelievable how could they have been in a relationship for years and not discuss this that's first-date level stuff oh yeah they're really nice yeah they're cool yeah they're all four-foot tall you know but it's all good I really talk about that see there you go that wasn't difficult was it anyway back at the motel room the star-crossed lovers are laying about and taking the piss so Lynch shows up to kick them out of his property they're totally reasonable response is to pull out a gun and beat the shit out of him understandably a bit miffed by Stephens deception Carol soon loses the moral high ground by storming over to his workplace to berate him in front of his trainees while being completely insensitive about dwarfism let me know that everyone in your family is a midget she's freaking out because their kid might be born with dwarfism and they have an over long and petty argument before parting ways what did you think I was gonna do when I fell out you feel they were all midgets I mean did you think I just walk away okay you keep saying midget you're gonna piss a whole bunch of people off I really don't care about that stuff by the way that is actually Kate Beckinsale's lucky hat which she insisted on wearing as a condition for being in this film I would say it's ridiculous but the whole film is ridiculous so it gets a pass back at the house Carol and Rolf have another heart-to-heart she's worried about the possible medical implications of dwarfism so he takes her to see his uncle who knows more about these issues and they give her reassurance and some very wise advice despite her cringe-worthy faux pas it's obvious that scenes like this were supposed to have the most impact on the audience by dispelling myths about dwarfism and making the audience more comfortable with it here the movies good intentions are most evident it's like a diamond in the middle of a turd now reassured Carol talks to Steven over the phone but the way it's shot makes it look weirdly seductive like she's on a sex hotline steven has refused to come home and deal with his issues like a mature adult and when their conversation ends he throws his phone away like a toddler they all get invited to a party at the uncle's house but for some inexplicable reason they bring along the odd couple who immediately start causing problems maurice starts arguing with the uncle because he doesn't approve of his bourgeois methods of non-violent campaigning and would rather see a violent insurrection against the normies children of the corn style where do people don't understand is that political power it grows out of the barrel of a gun shit starts to get real and Rolf has to drag him away he then has an argument with Steven because he can't understand why Steven kept his family hidden from his fiance Steven once again reacts like a mature adult what do you mean and the argument quickly descends into the typical youtube comment section sometimes you are so fucking bullshit Karel defends Rolf but he acts like a dickhead and storms off to find Sally who he sort of got back together with but she's a complete whore he finds her fucking a famous black guy in full view of the other guests they didn't even have the courtesy to lock the door the brothers quickly reconcile over this betrayal bros before hos indeed Carol and Stephen have a deep chat about dwarfism and associated medical issues again I'm sure this was meant to be sensitive and heartfelt but the scene ruins itself to convey how comfortable Carol is becoming with dwarfism they have her ask this what you know I kids come on we'd sit in a circle by doctor I'm like I'm kind of in or 10 or 12 so that doesn't what what the fuck and then they start making out at this point I'm fully convinced the writer just wanted to make midget porn and I've seen porn with better stories than this to be fair they then go to meet his parents and then her parents show up with predictably awkward results no please no no no you'll have a vodka tonic I'll actually I trained cadets to be firefighters and fires are pretty much recession proof and says well that's one way of looking at it I guess this scene is meant to highlight how awkward normies are around dwarves there's a setup for that question the elephant in the room it seems like they're about to say something incredibly offensive I certainly wouldn't want anyone to think that we're prejudiced people daddies but it turns out to be something completely unrelated so unless you can bring yourself to have a Jewish wedding would you at least consider a civil ceremony otherwise we won't be able to invite him her funny right we skip forward a few months to the wedding Bonnie and Clyde have plumped themselves nearby as they clearly haven't been invited and Peter Dinklage now has dreadlocks that image alone is worth the price of admission as Rolfe leaves Carroll gives him a very inappropriate kiss then we skip forward again until just after the birth the baby turns out to have dwarfism and Stephen freaks out this is because he witnessed in terrible pain because of medical issues when he was a child and he can't bear to think that his child might have to go through the same this is why he's been incredibly secretive about his family and why he's been acting like a complete tosser throughout the film but has he faced his inner torment and matured as a person during all this time has he fuck their arguments last four months and eventually he can't take it anymore pussies out and leaves her yes he leaves his suffering wife and child what Stella human being so Carol goes to Ralph's cabin where Romeo and Juliet are living the highlife they sit down to have dinner but Maurice ruins everything with his radical politics of misogyny Lucy gets so pissed off that she walks out on him and that's it that's the resolution to their story Hawk and we never see them again Stephen shows up to convince Carol to take him back but he hasn't learned anything and acts like a complete not so she's not into it instead she grows closer to Rob as she has throughout the story because he's not a total bellend and actually steps up and looks after the baby he gets the girl during a stargazing scene that's cliche as fuck and that's how it ends not a god-awful story just moderately awful as a piece of filmmaking the most you can say about tiptoes is that it's competently made except for the music which is really inappropriate at times it's a disjointed plodding mess that more closely resembles a lifetime or daytime TV movie rather than a serious effort by a major film studio the movie suffered enormous ly as a result of interference by its producers according to director Matthew bright the film was a grueling experience to make due to the producers meddling which apparently started with a dispute over Kate Beckinsale's hat on the first day of shooting Peter Dinklage later claimed that the original cuts submitted by Brite which had a two-and-a-half hour running time was gorgeous but the studio then fired bright and recut the film removing an hour of footage and the result was this abomination which Dinklage described as a weird little quirky rom-com but with Dwarfs which contradicted exactly what the film was intended to oppose the cutes enos of little people bright tried to get his name taken off the credits and was scathing about the producers and the film probably due to this he has never directed a film since after this abomination was screened at the Sundance Film Festival as one of the official choices really someone up top must have come to their senses because they scrambled to bury this film as fast as possible tiptoes was never theatrically released and went straight to DVD where it remains to this day for anyone morbidly curious enough to seek it out I would genuinely like to see that elusive director's cut which apparently still exists but it's extremely unlikely that it will ever be released perhaps it is indeed a great piece of filmmaking and not the stilted and underwhelming product we've got and perhaps it does explore issues surrounding dwarfism with the Grace and nuance they deserve instead of the shallow lip service they received but even if it were a masterpiece this film would still have been buried faster than Harvey Weinstein's career because it's utterly offensive and hypocritical to have a movie tell the audience that people with dwarfism can accomplish anything while at the same time refusing to cast an actor with dwarfism in the main role that aside I would still recommend checking this out if only to see Peter Dinklage as a gun-toting Marxist and Gary Oldman in the role of a lifetime and with that I'll leave you with Gary Oldman sick dance moves enjoy they sell me nuts to show a little faith who can do a little paper numb when little faith fight with my location pagans but we've got some bite so never get you dog