Monday, 30 May 2011

Critical Week: Film of the year (so far)

We're not quite halfway through the year, but this week I finally saw a movie that could become my film of 2011: Asghar Farhadi's A Separation, the only film that's ever won three Bears at the Berlin Film Festival (pictured L to R with the awards for best film, actor and actress: Sareh Bayat, Sarina Farhadi, Peyman Moadi, Asghar Farhadi, Alki Asghar Shahbazi and Babak Karimi). It's a staggeringly well-made film with a story that, while set in Iran, is powerfully relevant to anyone in the audience.

And there was another pleasant surprise in X-men: First Class, a franchise blockbuster that's actually a great movie on its own. It's also a rare adventure that has genuinely thrilling action and challenging, complex characters. From the grab bag, we had Chris Weitz's involving immigration drama A Better Life, the relentlessly charming Audrey Tatou, Sami Bouajila and Nathalie Baye in the French rom-com Beautiful Lies; and David Sington's fascinating (and terrifying) economic-collapse doc The Flaw.

This coming week we have a couple of big Hollywood titles, including Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher and Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids, as well as a number of smaller films including, finally, Lee Chang-dong's acclaimed Poetry, the British thriller Siren, and two Italian dramas: David's Birthday and Sea Purple.

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