Barry Lyndon (1975)

As a script writer for hire, UK script consultant and UK Script editor I’m a massive Kubrick fanboy, and in well over 200 hundred blogposts I realise I’ve never written about Barry Lyndon but I think I know why.

Barry Lyndon isn’t a film that you can talk about much, there’s not a great plot, the dialogue isn’t especially brilliant, the characters are well drawn and the acting is very good in some parts, but what makes the film stand out is the breathtaking and hypnotic imagery.

This, for those who like good cinematography is THE FILM to watch, it’s well documented that the film is often lit by candlelight and that special NASA lenses had to be used. However, it’s not just those scenes and shots; it’s that EVERY frame of the film looks like a painting, a piece of art created by one of the masters.

Of course it’s a period piece, and Kubrick slows time too, so that the film feels like the period – the music is amazing and atmospheric, and the film starts to hypnotise (it makes some people fall asleep) you as the viewer are transported back to that time and place, it gets slowly under your skin, so much so that the plot, acting and script don’t matter, what you’re getting is a film that immerses you.  You become Barry.

There’s not much else I can say, it’s film that more than anything has to be watched (it might take more than one sitting) it’s a film that washes over you, your eyes and ears. And it’s beautiful.  It looks like heaven in large parts, but Barry is in hell.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire, UK Script editor  and script doctor for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on or hire him on Peopleperhour

His directorial debut, the rubber reality horror thriller Markham will be released in 2020.