Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Critical Week: Teen spirit

A highlight this week was the Oscar-nominated Mustang, a pointed Turkish drama about five sisters whose strong personalities are at odds with their restrictive culture. It's beautifully made by first-time feature filmmaker Deniz Gamze Erguven (she's a Turk based in France, so it's the French entry for the Academy Awards). The film has such a striking point of view that it's impossible not to be caught up in its earthy, honest narrative. And what it has to say is remarkably timely.

Other movies screened this week include Ryan Reynolds' entertainingly snarky superhero romp Deadpool, which is perhaps too snarky for its own good but will have genre fans overflowing with praise. Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann and Alison Brie grapple with sex and the city in the comedy How to Be Single. Keanu Reeves investigates a perplexing, possibly supernatural-tinged murder in the choppy mystery Exposed. Natalie Dormer seeks her twin in the horror movie The Forest, which is unsettling and creepy until it turns silly. The creepy Austrian drama Goodnight Mommy, which morphs into an original but over-the-top horror thriller as it goes along. And a young junkie throws his life away on the streets of Montreal in the murky, meandering arthouse drama Love in the Time of Civil War.

Coming up over the next week we have a very late screening of Ben Stiller's comedy sequel Zoolander 2, Christian Bale in Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups, Richard Gere in Time Out of Mind, Aidan Gillen in John Carney's Sing Street, and the Belgian comedy The Brand New Testament.

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