Jude Law’s enormous bottom was the talk of the Cannes Crosiette last weekend. Following the premiere of Firebrand, Karim Aïnouz’s new costume drama in which Law plays Henry VIII opposite Alicia Vikander as the Tudor monarch’s sixth and last wife Katherine Parr, critics expressed their astonishment at the voluminous size of Law’s rump.
Reviews have carried reference to the “ham hock prosthetics”, which must have been used to turn the actor’s backside – seen fleetingly during one of the King’s animalistic trysts with the unfortunate Katherine – into the equivalent of the “giant, shaved arse of a sheep”, as The Guardian called it.
Not since Philip Seymour Hoffman’s posterior was similarly exposed in the sex scene which opens Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007) has an A-list male actor looked quite so grotesque. Lumet’s movie was a contemporary crime drama set in New York in which Seymour Hoffman was playing a crooked financier. It was a long way removed from the court of Henry VIII, but the two movies have more in common than you imagine. Both are about family betrayal and show masculinity at its basest.