Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Critical Week: Feel the love

We saw three big Hollywod movies this week. Larry Crowne attempts to capture the star wattage of Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, but is too squishy to really come alive. Transformers: Dark of the Moon tries to return to the more relaxed narrative of the first film in the series, but is still overwhelmed by metal-on-metal carnage. And Cars 2 follows up Pixar's strangest film with a spy-adventure sequel.

More anticipated were two big Cannes movies: Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life won the Palme d'Or, and you can see why - it's a bold, intensely personal exploration of existence itself with gorgeous production values and terrific performances. Pedro Almodovar's The Skin I Live In is a ripping Hitchcock-style thriller starring Antonio Banderas as a morally compromised plastic surgeon.

Smaller, but also acclaimed, films included David Mackenzie's enjoyable Scottish music festival rom-com You Instead, the superbly unsettling Scottish horror-thriller A Lonely Place to Die, the wonderfully complex Japanese epic drama Villain and the Mediterranean island horror-thriller Siren.

Coming up this week are catch-up screenings of JJ Abrams' Spielbergesque thriller Super 8, Robert Redford's The Conspirator, Tilda Swinton in the Cannes favourite We Need to Talk About Kevin, and Kristen Scott Thomas in the French drama Sarah's Key. We also have the animated romp Horrid Henry, the urban violence doc The Interrupters and the natural realm doc One Life.

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