Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Critical Week: Take the desert by storm

Films don't get much bigger than Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller's return to the franchise 30 years after Thunderdome. Starring Tom Hardy in the title role (that's him as the grille ornament in the photo above), it's a roaringly entertaining action thriller with startling emotional and thematic depth. Speaking of which, Arnold Schwarzenegger delivers an unusually deep performance in Maggie, an involving father-daughter drama with zombie overtones. And Rupert Everett and Emily Watson play the king and queen in the comedy romp A Royal Night Out, an engaging film that's loosely based on real events in London 70 years ago this week.

Further afield, British critics are finally catching up with Song of the Sea, the stunningly beautiful Oscar-nominated Irish adventure based on local mythology. Second Coming is a low-key British drama starring Idris Elba that feels like it only has enough of a plot for a short, but is very nicely made. From Spain, Marshland is a sharply well-shot serial killer drama that's involving but a little dry. And I also caught up with The Last of Robin Hood, an involving drama directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice), which stars Kevin Kline in a story about the final months of of Errol Flynn's life.

Special screenings this week included Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, Chuck Workman's superb doc, screened to the press on Welles' actual 100th birthday to launch the BFI's summer season featuring his films and lots of rare material. And one evening I headed to the Soho Revue Gallery for a screening of the short film Eleanor, an ambitious project starring Ruth Wilson that shows on three screens and carries quite an internalised kick (MY SHORT REVIEW).

This coming week we have George Clooney in the Disney epic Tomorrowland, Al Pacino in Danny Collins, Dustin Hoffman in The Choir, Peter Bogdanovich's comedy She's Funny That Way, the acclaimed horror Unhallowed Ground, the indie sci-fi thriller Infini and the Oscar-nominated doc The Salt of the Earth.

No comments: