Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Critical Week: Setting sail

London critics continue to catch up with acclaimed films from this year's festivals as their UK release dates get closer. One of the main titles from Sundance and Cannes was Beasts of the Southern Wild, an evocative, ambitious drama from Louisiana that features a breathtaking central performance by Quvenzhane Wallis, who was only 6 when the film was made. We also saw Rust and Bone, Jacques Audiard's stunning followup to his award-winning A Prophet, which features another heart-stopping central performance from Marion Cotillard. And then there was the sublime Chinese relationship drama A Simple Life, starring Andy Lau.

Outside the festival circuit, we had the Farrelly brothers' corny take on The Three StoogesChristian Bale in the Chinese wartime epic The Flowers of War, an astonishing true story that drifts into melodrama; Private Peaceful, a warmly involving but slightly simplistic WW1 drama based on the book by Michael Morpugo (War Horse); the slightly over-egged but thoroughly involving true British ghost horror When the Lights Went Out; the found-footage lost-valley thriller The Dinosaur Project; the serene and understated elite restaurant doc El Bulli: Cooking in Progress; and a chance to catch up with the terrific 1956 Burt Lancaster/Tony Curtis circus drama Trapeze, one of the best ever movie bromances.

This coming week we have two more Cannes premieres: Ben Wheatley's Sightseers and Leos Carax's Holy Motors, plus the dance sequel Step Up 4: Miami Heat (aka Step Up Revolution), Sound of My Voice, the Asian epic Samsara, and restored versions of Orson Welles' F for Fake and Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger.

Note that over the coming two weeks I will be blogging regularly from the London Olympics, commenting on how the city is coping with hosting its third Summer Games and the feeling on the streets and in the venues (I have tickets to four events). Watch this space...

No comments: