Thursday, 15 November 2012

Critical Week: Nasty turbulence

Things continue to be a bit odd for London-based film critics at the moment, with a blinding combination of press screenings and awards-consideration screenings - all of which carry differing embargo rules. It's a minefield. The biggest film I saw this past week is also heavily embargoed, despite the fact that it's been in US cinemas for two weeks already. So even though there are more than 500 reviews online for Flight, starring Denzel Washington and directed by Robert Zemeckis, I can't tell you what I thought of the film until February. I also saw Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz in the funny but uneven Gambit; and the action-packed, visually thrilling animated action ensemble Rise of the Guardians.

Further off the beaten path, we had Toni Collette's reunion with Muriel's Wedding director PJ Hogan for the sharply pointed and often very funny Aussie black comedy Mental; Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the slightly unconvincing alcoholism drama Smashed, the effectively icky body modification thriller American Mary, the beautifully made dark Spanish thriller Sleep Tight, and the awkward but endearing American indie romance Elliot Loves.

Awards screenings this coming week include Judd Apatow's Knocked-up spin-off This Is 40, a rescheduled screening of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Gus Van Sant's reunion with Matt Damon in Promised Land. We also have the retro Disney animation Wreck-it Ralph, the Belgian award-winner Bullhead, the Canadian comedy-drama Starbuck, Chris Smith's Indian drama The Pool (made in 2007 and only just not getting a UK release), the 2012 Olympics doc First and the Japanese horror X Game.

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