Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Critical Week: A big buddy

London critics saw two big effects-based movies this week featuring young kids interacting with huge digital costars. Steven Spielberg brings his usual sense of wonder to The BFG, based on the Roald Dahl classic. The excellent cast features Mark Rylance, newcomer Ruby Barnhill and Penelope Wilton, and the story is involving and lovely, although it does feel very animated. Surprisingly, Pete's Dragon feels rather more tactile and grounded, with its loveable giant green furry puppy dog-like dragon. It's just as wondrous, with fine acting from Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley and Robert Redford.

Off the beaten path, we had screenings of Things to Come, a clever, thoughtful French drama starring Isabelle Huppert; the moving documentary Jim: The James Foley Story, about the American journalist kidnapped and executed by Islamic State; and the artful portmanteau movie Confessions, exploring issues of love and sex through rather actorly monologs.

This coming week I have rescheduled screenings for both Jason Bourne and Hell or High Water, plus that other Chris Pine movie Star Trek Beyond, Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic and the new film version of the British classic Swallows and Amazons. Then I'm off on a short holiday for five days, hurrah! My first proper break since last November.

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