Thursday, 15 April 2010

Critical Week(s): People are strange

The last couple of weeks have been a bit bonkers in the press screening rooms, as we have been subjected to the nuttiest movies in recent memory, starting with Julianne Moore's latest trip into gonzo thriller territory (remember The Forgotton?) in Shelter, costarring Jonathan Rhys Meyers as a scene-chewing nutcase suffering from multiple-personality disorder. Or is he? (Onimous chord!) It's just stupid enough to be watchable, which is more than can be said for Repo Men, which features more Oscar-calibre actors (Jude Law and Forest Whitaker) slumming it in an action romp that's bereft of even the tiniest shred of logic.

More wackiness ensued in a couple of British films: Gurinder Chada's Indians-in-London comedy It's a Wonderful Afterlife isn't actually a spoof of the Frank Capra classic, although it does include a pastiche of a key scene from Brian DePalma's Carrie. And then there's Pimp, a gritty look into London's prostitution trade, featuring of course Danny Dyer, that also wobbles a bit as it goes along.

Much better was the tightly wound Austrian Oscar nominee Revanche, a twisty, low-key look at revenge, and the Tom DiCillo documentary about The Doors, When You're Strange, intriguingly made with only archive footage (including lots of amazing never-seen clips) and no reflective narration at all.

Finally, foreign films kept us on our toes, with the askew Japanese drama Krakera: A Piece of Our Life, the astute Uruguayan drama Leo's Room, and the Spanish teen terrorism thriller Clandestinos.

This coming week we've got Miley Cyrus in Nicholas Sparks' The Last Song, The Rock as the Tooth Fairy, Demi Moore in The Joneses, Jeffrey Dean Morgan in The Losers, Britain's first 3D dance movie Street Dance and the Iranian historical drama Women Without Men.

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