On the south side of Chicago, there’s a small shop at the end of a quiet, snowy street. Its proprietor, a man named Leonard Burling (Mark Rylance), makes suits. Please don’t refer to this courtly English gentleman as a tailor, however — he spent many years apprenticing on Savile Row as a “cutter,” which is a very different skill set, indeed. When Burling eventually left his native country, he set up shop in the Windy City and made a name for himself as a provider of beautiful suits for a discerning clientele.
They have their business, which allows him to keep his. “If we only allowed angels to be customers,” Burling tell his receptionist, a local Irish-American lass named Mable (Zooey Deutch), “soon we’d have no customers at all.” It doesn’t mean that he’s happy when this young woman, who he dotes over like she is his own daughter, begins to take up with Richie Boyle (Dylan O’Brien), the heir to the criminal empire. But he says nothing, and he hears nothing, and he sees nothing.
It does look absolutely gorgeous, a virtual den of dark browns and charcoal grays and, courtesy of Deutch’s wanderlusty Mable, an occasional smattering of primary colors and plaids. Moore won an Oscar for penning The Imitation Game, which largely ran Benedict Cumberbatch through his Oscar-bio paces in either the Enigma project’s headquarters or Alan Turing’s tiny apartment. He’s limited the locations down to just a single interior this time out, with a few glimpses of the wintry outside for good measure. But mostly, we stay inside, all the better to bask in the lighting of cinematographer Dick Pope — himself a consummate professional on the level of Burling’s clothier — which gives everything the golden glow of a workshop glimpsed through a tumbler of 20-year-old Scotch. As for the costume design, Sophie O’Neill and Zac Posen don’t deserve future Oscar consideration for their work here. They deserve a shrine for these suits, or at the very least, a pair of solid gold shears.