Chiwetel Ejiofor gives a remarkably understated performance in director Stephen Frears’s offbeat and gripping drama DIRTY PRETTY THINGS. Ejiofor stars as Okwe, a Nigerian who is trying to make a new life for himself in London, where he works days as a taxi driver and nights as a hotel desk receptionist. When he discovers a human heart in a hotel-room bathroom, he cannot go to the police because he is an illegal alien with a mysterious past he refuses to talk about. Suddenly he is thrust into the middle of a dangerous situation that threatens to have tragic results for him and those around him.
French ingenue Audrey Tautou costars as a Turkish woman who has sought asylum in England, where she is allowed to live but not work. But she must make money, so she works secretly while the government tries to catch her. Benedict Wong turns in a fine supporting performance as Guo Yi, a morgue employee who shares wise and humorous sayings with Okwe. Frears directs the unusual proceedings with a deft hand, slowly revealing secrets that are as gruesome as they are poignant.