Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Critical Week: Lost in Alaska

London critics sat through two films about survival in Alaska this past week: the first was Joe Carnahan's grim, icy, existential thriller The Grey, starring Liam Neeson, about plane crash survivors facing both the elements and a pack of angry wolves. The second was Big Miracle, starring Drew Barrymore, which was rather more inspirational, telling the true story of the global effort to rescue a family of whales trapped under the Arctic ice.

Of course, the Oscar nominations on Tuesday were the big news this week - my brief comments and all the nominees are HERE. Elsewhere, critics were confronted with a rather non-scary boogeyman in Juan Carlos Fresnadillo's Intruders, starring Clive Owen; murderous Nazis in the powerfully involving Polish true story In Darkness, which was Oscar-nominated on Tuesday; a family crisis in actress Melanie Laurent's beautiful directing debut The Adopted; a pair of vintage 1980s con men in the rather chaotic black-comedy romp Polish Roulette; and an astonishingly successful man who has somehow avoided both fame and money in the endearing documentary Bill Cunningham New York.

This coming week we're faced with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in the thriller Safe House, Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Rock in the 3D adventure Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Noomi Rapace in the thriller Babycall, the found-footage thriller Chronicle, and two British thrillers: Best Laid Plans and A Thousand Kisses Deep.

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