Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Critical Week: Fields of gold

London-based critics finally had a chance to catch up with last year's Terrence Malick film To the Wonder, a deeply personal meditation on relationships and faith starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams (pictured), plus Olga Kurylenko. It's a swirling, virtually dialog-free drama that kind of spirals out of control in the final third, but leaves us thinking. The only real mainstream film last week was the enjoyable geriatric caper romp Stand Up Guys, with the all-star trio of Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin. I also had the chance to catch up with Roman Coppola's A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, an unhinged style-over-substance comedy-drama clearly based on elements from the life of star Charlie Sheen.

Brandon Cronenberg's Antiviral is an exercise in style and substance, a gleamingly yucky futuristic tale of fandom taken to life-threatening extremes. Sammy's Great Escape is a sequel to 2010's A Turtle's Tale, and keeps us entertained with a slightly deranged script and a gloriously excessive use of 3D. Aussie filmmaker Cate Shortland's unnerving dramatic thriller Lore is so gorgeously well shot and naturalistically acted that we almost forget that it's set in Nazi Germany. The Argentine anthology Sexual Tension: Volatile is an intriguing collection of six shorts exploring unexpected attraction between men. And bringing things full circle, Muzaffer Ozdemir's loosely plotted Home (Yurt) is a deeply personal meditation on the effects of progress on nature in the mountainous wilds of Turkey.

Coming this week: Bruce Willis in A Good Day to Die Hard, the gothic teen romance Beautiful Creatures, Danny Dyer in Run for Your Wife, Elijah Wood in Maniac, Barry Levinson's found footage thriller The Bay and Hirokazu Koreeda's I Wish.

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