A Very British Gangster


I’m not sure what makes Dominic Noonan “very British,” other than the fact that he hails from Manchester, but the hero of journalist Donal MacIntyre’s first foray into filmmaking is most definitely a gangster. The head of a locally famous crime family, Noonan has spent 22 years in jail for various combinations of kidnapping, torture, extortion, and murder. He is also charismatic and jovial, an openly gay man who lives in a ratty bungalow with a posse of pimply young gangsters-in-training, loves to sing karaoke, and officially changed his name to Lattlay Fottfoy (short for “look after those that look after you, fuck off those that fuck off you”). MacIntyre’s control over his material is assured at times, particularly when he focuses on Dom’s young son, Bugsy, and the other troubled boys who float around the periphery of the Noonan gang. But he is also apt to lapse into thumping, Entourage-esque segments that feature Noonan’s posse marching around Manchester to an Oasis-heavy pop soundtrack. For such an experienced reporter—MacIntyre is well-known in his native Ireland for hard-hitting television exposés—he has an almost unseemly attraction to the gangland life, gushing over Dominic’s often benevolent role in Mancunian community affairs while glossing over the nasty means by which he acquired his power. It would have been nice to hear a small something about Noonan’s very British victims.