Imagine if George Jung went to Oxford…and sorta got away with it in the end. Meet Howard Marks, the Welsh drug smuggler who was at one time responsible for 10% of the world’s weed supply. Marks story is truly amazing. Not only did he not believe in violence, but he was a family man who refused to traffic hard drugs. He believed, as many of us do, that marijuana was a mostly harmless substance that shouldn’t be outlawed by federal governments.
Because Marks was unusually principled for a drug dealer, star Rhys Ifans is able to breathe humanity into the titular character and make him a sympathetic one. Given that the SXSW showing was the film’s world premiere, I was able to meet Ifans after the showing. I told him he should be nominated for Best Actor his work on this film. Ifans idolized Marks as a teenager, going as far as even writing him letters as a teenager. Because of that, the men remain friends to this day. They even share an uncanny striking resemblance. The Welshman was truly born to play this role.