Thursday, 31 March 2016

Critical Week: A secret friendship

This week, London-based critics finally got to see the latest Studio Gibli film When Marnie Was There, which is getting a very late release in the UK (it came out in 2014 in Japan). It's another complex animated film that refuses to talk down to children - deep, intriguing, no easy answers, gorgeously visualised without any gimmicks.

Obviously, the biggest film of the week was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, screened to critics just a day before it opened for obvious reasons (this film doesn't need reviews, it's about fans buying lots of tickets). It's big, loud, simplistic, annoying and worth the price of the ticket. The other big movie for us was The Huntsman: Winter's War, a prequel/sequel to 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman that basically gives fans what they expect, plus two more divas (Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain, joining Charlize Theron).

Much more fun was Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship, a faithful adaptation of the surprisingly sharp-tongued Jane Austen novel Lady Susan, packed with terrific characters, hilarious dialog and delicious performances from Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny and Xavier Samuel. And we also caught the improv British comedy Black Mountain Poets, a rather meandering, pointless bit of fluff starring the wonderful Alice Lowe, Dolly Wells and Tom Cullen.

Coming up this week: Don Cheadle's Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead, Helen Mirren in the drone thriller Eye in the Sky, Rebecca Ferguson in the Cold War thriller Despite the Falling Snow, Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman in the thriller Criminal, and more.

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