Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Critical Week: Oscar bait

It's that time of year when we start to get a look at those films that are most likely to catch the eye of Oscar voters. Joe Wright's Anna Karenina certainly qualifies, with its epic love story plot and lavish costumes, sets and production design. Critics are just getting a first look at the film in advance of its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in a week or so. A new trailer also gave us a glimpse of Hyde Park on Hudson, which frankly looks like The King's Speech II as it follows King George and Queen Elizabeth (Sam West and Olivia Colman) to America for an encounter with Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt (Bill Murray and Olivia Williams).

Critics are also seeing David Ayer's End of Watch, a gritty point-of-view thriller about two good cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña) in Los Angeles - yes, good cops, a departure for Ayer. Len Wiseman's action-packed Total Recall remake stars Colin Farrell, who is easily the best thing about this film. There are two gritty East End crime dramas: The Sweeney, based on the iconic TV series, stars Ray Winstone and Ben Drew as members of London's elite crime-fighting squad. while Twenty8k stars Parminder Nagra as a lawyer trying to clear her brother's name from two drug-related murder charges.

More highbrow fare was provided in the astounding documentary Five Broken Cameras, through which we see life on the wrong side of the Israel-Palestine border through the eyes of a perceptive, camera-wielding journalist. And it was great to revisit Francis Coppola's newly remastered 1983 drama Rumble Fish, starring the very young Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke (Shadows award winner that year!) and Nicolas Cage.

This coming week includes a long weekend here in Britain, so the pickings are a little slim. We have the American indie The Myth of the American Sleepover, the French comedy-drama Untouchable (aka The Intouchables), Guy Madden's latest film Keyhole, the space-station thriller Love, the Queen concert film Hungarian Rhapsody and the fan-fave doc Room 237, about the lasting legacy of Kubrick's The Shining.

No comments: