Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Critical Week: A food and film love-in

It doesn't get much more luvvie than this: Oprah Winfrey producing a movie starring Helen Mirren that's all about delicious-looking French and Indian food. The Hundred-Foot Journey is already out in America, while British critics have only just had their first screenings, smartly accompanied by a seriously amazing spread of snacks, starters and mains from Patak's. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom, the film is as glossy and warm as expected, but a sharp Steven Knight script helps maintain a hint of an edge. It also makes the audience ravenously hungry. Be warned.

The biggest film we saw this week was Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, screened to the press just a couple of days before it opened. It's evoking the same polarised responses as the first film. After nine years the technology might not seem as fresh, but the addition of 3D and a more darkly emotion-based story help. The best film of the week, easily, was the Dardenne brothers' Two Days One Night, starring Marion Cotillard as a woman put into a seriously difficult position. There was also the British mock-doc United We Fall, about a fictional Manchester United squad, although without real players or football footage it's tricky to imagine who the audience will be.

Finally, I caught up with two more FrightFest films, both British horror movies. The Mirror is a lively found-footage thriller about a haunted mirror, while Xmoor is a grisly freakout set over one fateful night on Exmoor. Full reviews of these and a few other FrightFest films can be found HERE.

This coming week is a short one, so I only have a few screenings in the diary. But I'm also going on holiday for the following week, so have several things to see before I can leave - including the animated adventure The Boxtrolls, Elijah Wood and John Cusack in Grand Piano, the American ensemble comedy About Alex, the indie comedy-drama Turtle Hill Brooklyn, the British drama Luna, the gay drama anthology ErOddity(s), the Donald Trump doc A Dangerous Game, and the offbeat family doc Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro.

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