Most of the leads are excellent in their portrayals. Christopher Eccleston as Vindici is a raging force, straddling the line between cold-blooded determination and outright madness. Eddie Izzard as the eldest son and next in line as ruler is very strong, making his character a real person when it would have been easy to play a stereotype villain. The three younger brothers are caricatures as written and the actors playing them chew every piece of scenery in sight. I thought it worked within the context, but some people will be turned off by the clownlike performances.
A few of the supporting actors are not up to snuff. Carla Henry as Castiza gives a particularly lifeless performance and Margi Clarke as her mother plays it too broadly. Some mention should be made of the lovely Sophie Dahl as Imogen. Cox envisions her as a Princess Diana analog and Dahl carries it off beautifully, using her large doe-like eyes to make up for a lack of dialog.
This is a big, bold and audacious movie from a director who refuses to fit his work into pigeonholes. It is not a general audience crowd pleaser, but rewards those who are up for an experiment and something seldom seen. Fans of David Lynch should make the crossover to Cox easily. One thing is for sure: After watching this, you'll yawn at the manufactured dramatics of battling housemates on your favorite reality TV show!
The swearing, blood, and violence in the film make it inappropriate for small children to be in the room. There is simulated sex, but no nudity. Mature teenagers should eat this stuff up. It might even give them an increased interest in English literature.