Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Critical Week: Man in the mirror

Michael Shannon held our attention at the press screening of his new thriller The Iceman, based on the true story of a mob hitman - a gritty, punchy film with superior performances. The other big movies this week weren't quite as smart: Fast & Furious 6 is the polar extreme, with idiotic action that's enjoyable but starting to feel stale; the animated adventure Epic is visually amazing, with some terrific comical moments and action scenes but an uneven, simplistic tone; and The Moth Diaries is a suitably gothic and creepy drama set in an isolated girls' school that struggles to reach a decent payoff.

From off the beaten path came the Austrian fable The Wall, a kind of female Robinson Crusoe in the mountains story that is too literary for its own good. Blackfish and We're Not Broke are two extremely well-made docs that get our blood boiling about psychological cruelty to animals and corporate collusion with politicians, respectively. And Pasolini's 1968 masterpiece Theorem is a challenging, surreal exploration of class and culture starring a strikingly young and seductive Terence Stamp.

Coming this week is a very late press screening of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby (it's timed to coincide with the opening night screening at Cannes), Emma Watson in The Bling Ring, Seth Rogen and James Franco in This Is the End, Robert Redford's political drama The Company You Keep and the comedy A Haunted House.

And no, I'm not going to Cannes, staying in rainy London instead...

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