Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Critical Week: This is embarrassing

Big titles are starting to show up at press screenings again, although they're not being shown until very close to release dates, often with phones confiscated and embargoes to sign. One of the late screenings was for Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler's second reunion rom-com Blended, a tonally erratic combination of zany slapstick, offhanded comedy and shameless sentimentality. We got a bit more lead time with X-men: Days of Future Past, the busy double-whammy sequel to both the original trilogy and First Class. It's a bit frantic, but packed with great subtext and entertaining action and drama.

Embargoed until the UK release dates are my comments on Jon Favreau's delicious foodie comedy Chef and Jean-Paul Jenuet's stylised American road movie The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivot. Then there's Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo, another heavily stylised romp by a French filmmaker. It stars the relentlessly charming Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou in a visually manic but thematically moving romance. And Dan Fogler's kaleidoscopic comedy Don Peyote is perhaps even more trippy, with an equally surprising serious edge to it.

This coming week we'll be catching up with Angelina Jolie in Maleficent, Nicolas Cage in Joe, the Oscar-nominated Palestinian drama Omar and another Duris-Tautou rom-com Chinese Puzzle. And of course the Cannes Film Festival comes to its conclusion this weekend with a barrage of awards for movies that I will suddenly need to see with some urgency...

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