Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Critical Week: One last shot

Yes, UK critics saw another of the year's most anticipated films this week, the final instalment in the franchise: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. The A-list cast and Suzanne Collins' terrific source material continue to make this a superior series, with a epic-sized conclusion that's packed with strongly emotional moments in between the action mayhem. Jennifer Lawrence's usual costar Bradley Cooper leads the cast of the super-chef drama Burnt, which never quite sells either the story or the too-fancy food, but it's watchable enough.

Also this past week, we had a look at two prestige films going for awards-season attention: Tom McCarthy's Spotlight is a superb investigative drama about a news team (led byMark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton) looking into Boston's abusive priest scandal; Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies is a stately period thriller starring Tom Hanks as a negotiator navigating the tricky waters of Cold War Berlin.

At the other end of the spectrum, the nonsensical South African action movie Momentum stars a plucky Olga Kurylenko being chased by a scene-chomping James Purefoy. Somewhere in the middle, The Queen of Ireland is a fabulous, inspiring doc about Rory O'Neill and his iconic drag alter ego Panti Bliss; and the earthy, honest Mexican drama Velociraptor centres on two teens exploring their sexuality as the world is about to end.

I'll be in America over the next two weeks, so hope to catch up with several things that are out there but haven't screened here, including The Peanuts Movie, The 33, By the Sea, Love the Coopers and Secret in Their Eyes. We'll see how that goes! Watch this space...

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