Monday, 15 February 2010

Critical Week: Missing the mark

You can tell from the poster image for the new remake of The Wolfman that something is up here. Why is it centred on the much smaller character played by Emily Blunt, while the Oscar-winning Benicio Del Toro, in many hours worth of old-style werewolf makeup,is barely there and Oscar-winning Anthony Hopkins is nowhere to be seen? Perhaps it's the same reason the film's release was delayed by almost a year, and why it wasn't screened to the press until just a few days before it opened. Namely, that it's neither scary nor silly enough to really work - although if you watch it as a comedy it's rather good fun.

My other two press screenings last week were just as odd: the Irish romantic-comedy Happy Ever Afters and the New York gay romance Lucky Bastards - neither was as romantic as it needed to be. Much better were the festival films I watched, including two Scandinavian ones (Brotherhood from Denmark and The Man Who Loved Yngve from Norway). But the best film I saw was a revisit to see Tom Ford's A Single Man, and most notably Colin Firth's great performance, again as it opened here in the UK.

This week's offerings include Tim Burton's 3D version of Alice in Wonderland, Roman Polanski's political thriller The Ghost, the remake of George A Romero's 1973 cult classic The Crazies, and two films from Sweden: the hotly anticipated trilogy launcher The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the indie drama The Ape.

In addition, the London Critics' Circle has its 30th annual film awards gala dinner on Thursday night. Most of the nominees are attending, including Quentin Tarantino, who will be receiving our special Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film. So of course I'll be reporting on all of that later in the week.

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