Thursday, 25 October 2012

Critical Week: Seeking a happy ending

Perhaps due to the London Film Festival, we had a glut of big-star screenings over the last week or so. London-based critics were screened Silver Linings Playbook, an edgy, crowd-pleasing rom-com with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence that's likely to scoop up serious awards attention in the coming months. We also saw Martin McDonagh's anxiously awaited second feature, Seven Psychopaths, with a fantastic ensemble cast making the most of a witty look at screenwriting and small-time criminals. The Impossible is a beautifully made drama about the 2004 tsunami starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor - both excellent, although Watts will get the most attention.

And it doesn't stop there. Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave star in the engaging and shamelessly weepy Song for Marion, Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks star in the enjoyable but awkward assembled-family drama People Like Us, and Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludvine Sagnier star in the offbeat and very creepy French drama Love Crime. Finally, we had three docs: the Rolling Stones celebrate 50 years in the business with Crossfire Hurricane, which only covers their first 20 years;  the Uganda activism doc Call Me Kuchu beautifully highlights the struggle for gay rights in a very violent place; and David Attenborough takes young children on yet another tour of an Antarctic penguin colony in the sharply photographed but unoriginal The Penguin King 3D.

THis coming week we have Philip Seymour Hoffman in A Late Quartet, the comedies For a Good Time Call and Fun Size, the British youth-culture drama Tempest and the artful doc Shock Head Soul.

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