Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Critical Week: Shaken not stirred

Just in time for James Bond Day on Friday (celebrating the 50th birthday of the film franchise), London critics saw the fast-paced documentary Everything or Nothing, tracing 007 from his creation by Ian Fleming up to the release of Skyfall in a couple of weeks. It puts all of the stories together into an enjoyably comprehensive narrative centred on the bromance between producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. A must for fans. We also saw the appallingly unfunny British wedding comedy The Knot, the clever and very grisly coming-of-age black comedy Excision and the clunky low-budget killer clown horror Stitches.

In advance of the London Film Festival (10-21 Oct), we got to see: Frank Langella in the warm, engaging Robot & Frank; Charlotte Rampling in the unsettling mystery-drama I, Anna; the lively and rather chaotic biopic Good Vibrations, about the godfather of Irish punk; the rather too-tidy Israeli drama Zaytoun, starring Stephen Dorff; the beautifully made award-winning Swiss drama Sister; the charming French animated adventure Ernest and Celestine; and the strikingly involving miscarriage-of-justice doc West of Memphis.

This coming week is another mixed bag, including Paul Thomas Anderson's anxiously awaited The Master, Tim Burton's Frankenweenie, Paul Dano in the literary comedy Ruby Sparks, and the family ensemble comedy The Oranges. And for the LFF, we'll see Francois Ozon's festival hit In the House, Kelly + Victor, The Comedian, and another 50th anniversary film, the digital restoration of Lawrence of Arabia.

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