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From Shakespearean eloquence "Let’s celebrate. We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now" to lower brow sorts, "we will buy this place and knock it over" the 1987 film Whitnail and I gains traction with a new generation.

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Bruce Robinson’s script for his 1987 cult classic, Withnail and I, wanders effortlessly between the high (a Hamlet soliloquy) and the low (“You can stuff it up your arse for nothing and fuck off while you’re doing it!”). But it’s the incandescent performance of Richard E. Grant that sends the dark British comedy—about a couple of out-of-work actors—into the stratosphere of greatness.

So it’s less weird than it might at first seem that the movie which screened at New York’s Film Forum on Thursday night wasn’t the one that has earned Grant a best-supporting-actor Oscar nomination—Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, starring Melissa McCarthy—but the one that forged his legend more than three decades ago.

To read more on Vanity Fair:

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