In his directorial debut, actor Paddy Considine has learned that the best way to develop sympathy for someone who kicks his dog to death is by comparing him to another character (Eddie Marsan) who urinates on his wife. And also by casting a terrific actor like Peter Mullan in the dog-kicker role. As Joseph, a truculent, desperately alcoholic knucklehead, Mullan falls somewhere between the feral ferocity of Robert Carlyle's Begbie in Danny Boyle's Trainspotting and the visionary nastiness of David Thewlis's Johnny in Mike Leigh's Naked. Having lost his dog, Joseph hangs out at the local Goodwill store where the abovementioned abused wife, Hannah (Olivia Colman), works behind the counter. Hannah is a bible thumper and an alcoholic, but when she tries to convince Joseph that God loves him — well, he abuses her, too. It sounds like an exercise in miserabilism, but Considine extracts black comedy, compassion, and dignity from his downtrodden characters and their blighted setting.