Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Critical Week: Bad romance

The two big movies screened for critics this past week touched on serious relational issues. Trust is David Schwimmer's latest directing effort, a chilling drama about internet grooming starring the remarkable Liana Liberato (pictured) as a 14-year-old who has no idea how much trouble she's in. And then there's Water for Elephants, the Depression-era circus drama about a dodgy marriage between ringmaster Christoph Waltz and performer Reese Witherspoon that's interrupted by the still-mopey Robert Pattinson and his more-interesting elephant.

We also were able to catch up with Rachid Bouchareb's Oscar-nominated Outside the Law, an involving but melodramatic exploration of colonialism; Rutger Hauer in the latest luridly extended Grindhouse trailer Hobo With a Shotgun; the fascinating chess-champion documentary Bobby Fischer Against the World; and the mostly animated Imax romp Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough.

Screening this week are two big blockbusters: a late screening of Paul Bettany in the vampire thriller Priest and the franchise reboot Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (new director, new supporting cast). Other high-profile offerings include Topher Grace in Take Me Home Tonight, Keira Knightley in Last Night, Helen Mirren in The Debt, the Disney kiddie romp Prom, Gus Van Sant's Restless, Jason Statham in Blitz, Charlotte Gainsbourg in The Tree and the acclaimed A Screaming Man from Chad.

Sadly, Terence Malick's The Tree of Life - my most-anticipated film of 2011 - has been caught in a UK distribution mess: it was supposed to open this Friday, but is now in limbo. Sigh!

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