Monday, 7 November 2011

Critical Week: I want to be loved by you

The big screening for London critics this past week was the hotly anticipated My Week With Marilyn, which recounts the shooting of The Prince and the Showgirl, starring Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) and Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh). Terrific performances - and an amazing cast - make the film thoroughly enjoyable, even if it's never as magical we hope it will be. An equally stellar British cast provides the voices for this year's first holiday movie, Aardman's Arthur Christmas, a lively 3D romp that feels rather compromised to please American audiences. Meanwhile, Johnny Depp flies in the face of the establishment with the sunny comedy The Rum Diary, which plays the Hunter S Thompson cards a bit too forcefully but still keeps us smiling.

Less starry were the rather corny British ensemble comedy How to Stop Being a Loser and the almost pathologically charming (and chocolate-craving inducing) French rom-com Romantics Anonymous. And I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting three Francis Coppola classics: The Outsiders (1983), One From the Heart (1982) and especially The Conversation (1974) are bold, skilful films that no serious film fan should miss. And they're packed with early performances from actors who would go on to become huge stars. The Outsiders even has a cameo from a pre-teen Sofia Coppola!

Embargo news: the media has been bombarded with ads and interviews for the upcoming film Immortals. But even though they showed us the film a few weeks ago, the US distributor Relativity keeps extending the review embargo, which seems to hint that they don't have much faith in it. We are now not allowed to publish our comments until Thursday, the day before the worldwide release.

This coming week's London press screenings include: Leonardo DiCaprio in Clint Eastwood's J Edgar, the animated spin-off Piss in Boots, the Harry Belafonte doc Sing Your Song and two not-so-anticipated films with Nicolas Cage: Trespass and Justice.

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