Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Critical Week: Out of the closet

That's Domhnall Gleeson emerging from a wardrobe in the time-travelling romance About Time, which was the surprise film at June's Edinburgh International Film Festival and has been screening to London press this past week. It's what you'd expect from writer-director Richard Curtis, including a terrific cast that features Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy and Lindsay Duncan. Tilting more toward the comical end of the rom-com spectrum, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis star in We're the Millers, a rude drug-smuggling romp that's more amusing than riotous

We also had two indie comedy-dramas: Aubrey Plaza stars in the sex-focussed coming-of-age comedy The To Do List, which is much smarter than expected; and Kristen Bell gets a more serious role than usual in The Lifeguard, as a 29-year-old who reverts to her teen life in a moment of panic, complete with her old summer job and a 16-year-old boyfriend (the superb David Lambert). Both films are strongly involving, and likely to provoke different reactions in audiences.

A little further afield, Uwantme2killhim? is a chillingly clever British thriller based on a true story about an internet-based crime; Kon-Tiki is the spectacularly photographed Oscar-nominated epic about Thor Heyerdahl's 1947 raft journey proving that Incas populated Polynesia; and Una Noche is a disarmingly engaging drama about three young Cubans planning a dangerous journey to Miami. And I also revisited one of my all-time favourites: Terry Gilliam's Time Bandits, which is getting a digitally restored release.

This coming week we catch up with the 3D doc One Direction: This Is Us just before its release. There's also Saoirse Ronan in the WWIII thriller How I Live Now, the Cannes-winning romance Blue Is the Warmest Colour, the British youth-crime comedy Borrowed Time, the British-Indian comedy Jadoo, and the restored final cut of the 1973 classic The Wicker Man.

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