Layer Cake. 2004. Great Britain. Directed by Matthew Vaughn. 35mm. 105 min.
Just two years before he adopted the identity of James Bond, Daniel Craig starred in Matthew Vaughn’s boisterous British blockbuster as a suave high-end drug dealer—a role that likely secured him the mantle of 007. Extremely successful and looking toward retirement, Craig’s nameless criminal is faced with two final, impossible tasks before he can give up the game. Craig’s effortless cool is revealed he navigates a complicated web of criminals and double-crossers. Featuring a star-studded supporting cast, including the likes of Tom Hardy, Sienna Miller, Ben Whishaw, and Sally Hawkins, Layer Cake is a harbinger of the remarkable new wave of British actors that would soon infiltrate American screens.