Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Critical Week: Digging deep

London critics had a chance to catch up with Jennifer Aniston's acclaimed performance in Cake this week - a moving film about pain and grief. The script is sometimes obvious, but the acting and filmmaking are raw and sensitive. Aniston's work is definitely worthy of Oscar attention - but competition is brutal! For contrast we also had the sci-fi action blockbuster Jupiter Ascending, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum - a lively, seriously eye-catching romp that's a lot of fun of you don't try to make sense of it. Like most of the Wachowskis' work, its reputation is likely to grow as time goes on.

This rather busy week also featured screenings of: Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton in the contrived but watchable rom-com Two Night Stand, Bernard Rose's nutty period biopic-thriller The Devil's Violinist, the inventively head-spinning spacial-rift thriller Coherence, the awkwardly trashy horror comedy Suburban Gothic, the not-very-likeable British black comedy Down Dog, the cleverly artistic horror remake/sequel The Town that Dreaded Sundown, Viggo Mortensen in the Argentine wilderness in the surreal gem Jauja, the gorgeous Oscar-nominated animated epic The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and the pointed, surprising documentary The Overnighters. Whew!

This coming week's screenings include: the sci-fi action Robot Overlords, the acclaimed Ukrainian doc The Tribe, the Cold War doc The Man Who Saved the World, and I'll also get to see Ridley Scott's Blade Runner: The Final Cut on a big screen for the first time. Sunday night is also Bafta night - perhaps the best predictor of what will happen on Oscar night, as the voters overlap heavily. Expect lots of stars on the red carpet, and some surprise winners.

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