Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Critical Week: Glory days

The biggest movie screened to the press last week was Quentin Tarantino's long-in-the-works Inglourious Basterds, a ripping World War II thriller that's likely to divide audiences just like all of his other films have done. I also attended the press day for the film - another sparkling flurry of chatter from Tarantino as well as the gorgeous Diane Kruger and suddenly world-famous Christoph Waltz.

And that wasn't the only Cannes favourite we saw last week. There was also Almodovar's Broken Embraces, a cleverly tight and rather low-key noir, and Michael Haneke's stunningly well-made and deeply haunting Palme d'Or winner The White Ribbon. For more mainstream audiences, we had the guilty pleasures of action-spy rodents in G-Force, Will Ferrell in a wacky film of the slightly less-wacky TV show Land of the Lost, Luc Besson-style action mayhem in the entertaining sequel District 13: Ultimatum, and classy but nutty horror in Orphan.

London critics had the best screening catering ever as Le Cordon Bleu provided outrageously delicious nibbles before (and after, via goodie bag) Julie & Julia, the two-pronged biopic starring the fantastic Meryl Streep as Julia Child. And after all of that, my favourite film of the week was an indie twist on the rom-com, (500) Days of Summer, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel. On the other hand, I also finally caught up with Woody Allen's only so-so Scoop. Whew!

This coming week features another Cannes entry, Jane Campion's acclaimed Bright Star, plus Robert Rodriguez's next kiddie movie Shorts, the coming-of-age comedy Adventureland, Joe Wright's Hollywood debut The Soloist, the tropical thriller A Perfect Getaway, Nick Love's new violent Britain movie The Firm, the family romp Aliens in the Attic, the Canadian thriller Pontypool, and the brilliantly named but probably not-brilliant Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus. Yes, it's another busy week...

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