I just need everyone to know that I wanted to make this a really professional post that would do justice to this film, but … time got away from me and then there were cocktails, and, well… this is a free website so you get what you pay for.
With that out of the way, The Advocate (1993) — or, as it was known in the UK by the apparently way less marketable title, The Hour of the Pig — is one of my favorite films featuring Colin Firth. This predates Mr. Darcy by a good few years, but Firth, in his prime, without the restrictions of pearl-clutching audiences, is faaaabulous in this flick. Want a shirtless Firth scene? This film has that. Want a (gasp) Firth sex scene? Watch the British version for the extended cut. Want to see a film rock the 15th century and all of its weirdness? This film is for you.
The premise of The Advocate is Richard Courtois (based on Barthélemy de Chasseneuz, an actual historical person), who is a “big city attorney” (by 15th-century standards) who longs to get away from the crush of city life for a simpler existence in the country, and by doing so, learns that French country life in the 15th century is pretty fucked up.
To start off, he’s immediately called to represent a pig in a trial (which automatically has more legal rights than the local “Moorish” family existing at the fringes of society) and that dispels any notion of quaint, simple country life pretty much right off the bat. Add in a degenerate priest (Ian Holm), a shady prosecutor (Donald Pleasence), a regional lord who bought his way into the nobility (Nicol Williamson), and an itinerant group of “Moors” living on the edges of society, who, because of racism, get swept up into a murder case through no fault of their own, and you have the making of one hell of a medieval murder mystery that would put even Brother Cadfael through his paces.
Have you seen The Advocate? What are your thoughts?