Ric’s Netflix Picks: Preparing for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (Pt. 3)

It’s time for Part III of Snippet Studio‘s preparation for The Desolation of Smaug! Today’s journey takes us to one of the supporting actors, James Nesbitt. He does not play a big role in The Hobbit trilogy but he is a pretty powerful actor in his own right. Be sure to check out him out.



James Nesbitt’s defining work so far is JEKYLL, a previous Ric’s Netflix Pick. It is not to be missed. It also features a small role by Graham McTavish, who plays Dwalin in The Hobbit trilogy.



What happens when good men go to war?

What happens when they return?

In 2003 Sergent Mike Swift (James Nesbitt) led a unit of British soldiers into Basra, Iraq. Fighting alongside Corporal Danny Ferguson (Stephen Graham) and Lance Corporal Lee Hibbs (Warren Brown), Swift comes under fire and grenade assault. When an innocent Iraqi girl is injured, Swift carries her to a local hospital where he meets Dr. Aliya Nabil (Lubna Azabal). Shortly afterwards the soldiers return to England and Dr. Nabil joins them to care for the Iraqi girl in a proper hospital.

Following these events we begin to see the diverging paths these three men take and how the war has affected them all. Swift, having formed a close relationship with Dr. Nabil, volunteers to return to Iraq with the British Army. Ferguson also returns to Iraq, but not as a member of the British Army. He teams up with former United States Marine Erik Lester (Nonso Anozie) to start a private military company. Hibbs eventually joins this venture as he wants to help in the rebuilding of Iraq.

BBC’s Occupation is an exploration of the effects of war on a man’s motivation. Nesbitt shines and clearly portrays a man caught between two worlds. His scenes with Azabal are emotional and poignant. Graham (Boardwalk Empire) and Anozie (Ender’s Game) carry the bulk of the scenes and work well off of each other. Brown (Luther) is definitely the tertiary of the main leads but his scenes touch on a deeper level as he invests himself in the Iraqi people.

Powerful and jarring, Occupation is worth the watch.


4.1 out of 5.0

Five Minutes of Heaven


What would give you more solace?

Revenge or forgiveness?

In 1975 Northern Ireland, Joe Griffin watches in horror as a single moment shapes the rest of his life. Alistair Little (Mark Davison), a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force intent on proving himself, murders Joe’s older brother in cold blood. Thirty-three years later, a television crew has its sights set on having the two meet. Little (Liam Neeson) is still haunted by his own actions and is ready to move on. Griffin (James Nesbitt), blaming himself for the murder, is not ready to forgive.

Set mostly in the present, this film is brimming with dynamite performances by Neeson and Nesbitt. Neeson’s remorse is tangible, even when he is not speaking. The pain and hatred in Nesbitt’s eyes is electric. His manic demeanor is evident as he bounces between tortured restraint and unbridled fury. The scenes that cut between Neeson and Nesbitt brilliantly show their contrasting emotions, and leaves you yearning for when they finally meet.

Based partially on true events, Five Minutes of Heaven is an eerily fantastic film showcasing two of Northern Ireland’s top actors.


4.0 out of 5.0

In case you missed it, check out Part I and Part II of this series. Stay tuned for the fourth and final part!

Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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