Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Critical Week: What's up, Tiger Lily?

Several big movies have been screened to London critics this week, including Joe Wright's Peter Pan prequel Pan, a flashy, big-scale adventure starring Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily (above), Garrett Hedlund as Hook and newcomer Levi Miller as Peter. It's a lot of fun, but aimed squarely at young children.

Of three just as generically titled blockbusters, the best is Ridley Scott's The Martian, a thrilling space adventure with a terrific central role for Matt Damon, plus a weighty supporting cast who breathe some life into the film's edges. A lack of this is the only problem with Robert Zemeckis' The Walk, a whizzy, visually impressive dramatisation of the amazing story of Philippe Petit, which was documented memorably in the Oscar-winning Man on Wire. Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings cheeky mischief to the title role, but everyone else fades into the spectacular digital backdrops. And Anne Hathaway and Robert DeNiro are likeable in Nancy Meyers' warm, sentimentally manipulative comedy The Intern.

As for films from the upcoming London Film Festival, I caught up with the outrageously entertaining Bone Tomahawk, a Western starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson and a fantastic Richard Jenkins that shifts from comedy to horror. Terence Davies' Sunset Song is a gorgeous period epic with a lovely sense of the time and place (WWI Scotland) and the connection between people and the land. Pablo Larrain's The Club is a riveting, strikingly inventive drama taking on the Catholic Church's inability to tackle its paedophile problem. And Guy Maddin's The Forbidden Room is another typically manic, stylistically sumptuous pastiche, this time telling stories within stories within stories.

Most screenings this coming week are films that will also be showing at the London Film Festival, including Carey Mulligan in the opening movie Suffragette, Lily Tomlin in Grandma, Mads Mikkelsen in Men & Chicken, and the Indo-Canadian crime thriller Beeba Boys. There's also the American comedy This Is Happening, the British comedy Convenience, and the multistrand holiday offering A Christmas Horror Story.

1 comment:

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