Simon Beaufoy’s script for Among Giants follows a motley crew of laborers hired to paint miles of electrical columns lining the Yorkshire moors. Since the movie was written before Beaufoy’s The Full Monty, it appears he has since improved on a formula. Monty‘s misfit band dropped trou because stripping was the best-paying gig in town, but we can’t be sure why anyone needs foreman Ray (Pete Postlethwaite) and his boys to slap a new coat on hundred-foot pylons in the middle of nowhere, and at such risk: they’re on a rigid timetable, since the voltage is due to rev up again soon. Still, only sporadic attention is paid to any race-the-clock anxiety once enigmatic drifter Gerry (Rachel Griffiths) backpacks her way into a place on the crew and into Ray’s bed. While Postlethwaite cuts a quick swath through Beaufoy’s typically wry-and-whimsical, school-of-hard-knocks dialogue, Griffiths is just listless. What really draws our attention are those mammoth pylons, which seem less a hokey metaphor for the perils of love than a good excuse for director Sam Miller to take panoramic advantage of the drearily beautiful, rain-soaked Yorkshire countryside. Among Giants isn’t much of a movie, but it makes a fine landscape painting.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 23, 1999