Thursday, 1 November 2012

Critical Week: Everyone play nice

It's been an odd week of screenings for London critics, with a variety of offbeat movies that probably have very specific audiences. The starriest one was A Late Quartet, in which Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walker, Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir play a long-time string quartet whose tenuous bond is shaken by a few unrelated events. It's beautifully made and acted, although a bit dull. And if you have a problem with actors pretending to play instruments, look away now. The other semi-mainstream offerings were the Halloween-themed Fun Size, a resolutely unfunny comedy romp, and the somewhat better For a Good Time, Call...,  an underdeveloped friendship comedy-drama. At least the films were livened up by Chelsea Handler and Justin Long, respectively.

Further afield, we had Shock Head Soul, an artful, ambitious but utterly impenetrable doc-drama about psychoanalysis, and London: The Modern Babylon, Julien Temple's dazzling look at the psyche of Londoners - it's utterly essential viewing for anyone interested in history or social culture. Or London, of course. And finally, I turned off all the lights in my flat and stayed in one evening all alone to rewatch Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, which is being reissued in UK cinemas this week. I hadn't seen it in 32 years, and it was even scarier than I remembered!

Next week is another random collection of screenings, including Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock, the British black comedy May I Kill U, the long-awaited award-winning Romanian film Aurora, the Indian drama The Pool,the musician doc Hit So Hard, and the photojournalist doc McCullin.

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