Dirty Pretty Things

Dirty Pretty Things Study Guide

Dirty Pretty Things is a 2002 film directed by Stephen Frears and written by Steven Knight about an illegal Nigerian immigrant and doctor, Okwe, who gets embroiled in a London underground organ market being run out of the hotel that employs him. At the time of its release, the film was critically acclaimed for its cinematography, well-paced plot, and its illumination of the plight of illegal immigrants in England.

The film stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Okwe, and Audrey Tautou as his friend Senay, a Turkish Muslim woman trying to evade immigration enforcement. Together they navigate the treacherous underworld of life as undocumented workers, while maintaining the hope that they will one day be able to leave London and find freedom.

Dirty Pretty Things was extremely well-received at the box office and among critics, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, the actor playing Okwe, winnng the 2003 British Independent Film Award for Best Actor. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. In his review of the film, Roger Ebert wrote, "The strength of the thriller genre is that it provides stories with built-in energy and structure. The weakness is that thrillers often seem to follow foreseeable formulas. Frears and his writer, Steve Knight, use the power of the thriller and avoid the weaknesses in giving us, really, two movies for the price of one."