Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Critical Week: Home sweet home

UK critics had a late press screening of 10 Cloverfield Lane this past week. This is JJ Abrams' companion piece to the 2008 hit Cloverfield, and it's a superbly intense thriller. There were also screenings of two films based on the same true story: Florence Foster Jenkins stars Meryl Streep as the New York socialite who fancies herself an opera diva, but no one has the nerve to tell her that she can't sing. With a less-comical tone, Marguerite shifts the story to Paris with the marvellous Catherine Frot giving an award-winning performance in the lead role.

Further afield, we had two smaller British movies. Remainder is an insinuating, involving brain-bender starring Tom Sturridge, while The Call Up sends a team of video gamers into a nightmarish virtual reality game that's not as virtual as they'd like. Both are watchable but flawed. And Laurie Anderson's seriously offbeat performance-art movie Heart of a Dog plays out as an ode to her loveable rat terrier Lolabelle, pondering life, death, grief and rebirth.

BFI Flare kicks off on Wednesday night with the world premiere of the Russell Tovey drama The Pass at the Odeon Leicester Square, and over the next 10 days I'll be blogging about the films and the festivities. I've seen several Flare movies over the past few weeks, including The Pass, and I'll comment on all of them along the way.

I'll also have normal press screenings these days for things like the sequel My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, the animated comedy Zootropolis (aka Zootropia), the Scandinavian thriller The Absent One, the youthful romance Bang Gang and the documentary I Am Belfast.

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