Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Critical Week: Pitch-slapped

The most raucous screening last week was for the musical comedy Pitch Perfect - it's rare to hear film critics laughing so loudly all the way through a film. It stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson as members of a very competitive a capella university singing group. Less hilarious was goofy infertility comedy The Babymakers, which has a terrific lead couple in Olivia Munn and Paul Schneider but gets lost in a lame caper subplot. The tense British horror-thriller Tower Block also has a terrific cast led by Sheridan Smith, Russell Tovey and Jack O'Connell, but falls apart due to a hole-ridden script.

Foreign-language-wise, we had Michael Haneke's Palme d'Or winner Amour, a staggeringly well-observed drama about a couple facing their mortality; Xavier Dolan's Toronto award winner Laurence Anyways, an ambitious gender-bender starring the terrific Melvil Poupaud and Suzanne Clement; and the genial Swedish political rom-com Four More Years. There was also one doc: Hungarian Rhapsody, which includes rare interviews with Queen followed by a gorgeously shot film of their 1986 Budapest concert. And I caught up with two classics: Pier Paolo Pasolini's stunning version of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Steven Spielberg's timeless adventure Raiders of the Lost Ark, which was simply fabulous to revisit on the Imax screen.

This coming week we have Mike Newell's take on Great Expectations, Liam Neeson in Taken 2, the Ferrell-Galifianakis comedy The Campaign, the Aussie crowdpleaser The Sapphires, the animated horror-comedy Hotel Transylvania, the Polish hip-hop drama You Are God and the British indie drama Love Tomorrow. And on Monday morning, press screenings begin for the 56th BFI London Film Festival (10-21 Oct), so I'll be catching up with the likes of the comedy Celeste & Jesse Forever, the Cannes-winner The Hunt, and the doc West of Memphis, among many others.

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