Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Critical Week: Riding the rails

London critics got to see Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman in the true story The Railway Man this past week - a deeply relevant, perhaps too-emotional drama about reconciliation and understanding. Another highlight was Denis Villeneuve's haunting, exquisitely well-made Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as men who react very differently to a child kidnapping. We also had a chance to see the fractured JFK assassination drama Parkland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini in the smart and mature rom-com Enough Said and DeNiro and Pfeiffer going all Besson on us in The Family.

Screenings began this week for the upcoming 57th London Film Festival. The first two were James Franco's bleakly artful but rather off-putting Faulkner adaptation As I Lay Dying and the surehanded but extremely low-key Aussie thriller Mystery Road. More on those soon. We also saw the sequel to an animated film we'd forgotten about, the goofy but engaging The Reef 2: High Tide, the super-pretentious arthouse hit Leviathan, and the talky, intriguing Argentine gay drama Solo.

This coming week we'll catch up with Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck in Runner Runner, Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips, Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now, Sheridan Smith in The Powder Room, Francois Ozon's Jeune et Jolie, the British immigration drama Leave to Remain, the quirky festival film Floating Skyscrapers and Alex Gibney's doc The Armstrong Lie. We were also supposed to see Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, but the distributor has uninvited most critics from the press screening for some reason. Finally, the Raindance Film Festival kicks off on Wednesday and runs until 6th October in Piccadilly. Updates to come!

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