Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Critical Week: Predictability rules

No, I'm not throwing away my wildly exciting career as a freelance film critic to star in a rom-com with Katherine Heigl. This photo comes thanks to the bright sparks at Sony, who slotted critics into the film poster while we attended the press screening of The Ugly Truth last week. Heigl and Gerard Butler are terrific on screen, but predictability was clearly not an issue to the screenwriters.

But of course the really BIG movie this week (and this summer) is the sixth part in the saga: Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, an oddly dark and dreary movie that feels like an intake of breath before the action really kicks off in the next episode (we hope).

Last week I also saw Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which is as infused with imagination as the title (and director) suggests, and it's a must see for Heath Ledger's final performance, which was cleverly completed by the starry trio of Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law. Creation inventively tells the story of Charles Darwin's work on his world-changing book through his relationship with his wife Emma, and it's especially well-played by Paul Bettany and real-life partner Jennifer Connelly. The Informers is yet another all-star multi-strand LA drama, this time with a nihilistic 1980s theme based on a series of stories by Brett Easton Ellis. Home is an especially sharp satire about modern life starring Isabelle Huppert as the matriarch of a free-spirited family that suddenly finds its rural idyll shattered by a busy highway. And Lars Von Trier's Antichrist deserves all of the controversy it has already sparked for its dark and misogynistic look at marriage and grief.

And so it goes. This week film critics are looking forward to Harrison Ford's all-star multi-strand LA drama Crossing Over, Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces with Penelope Cruz, the Will Ferrell comedy-spoof remake Land of the Lost, and the guinea pig spy romp G-Force.

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