Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Critical Week: She's gonna blow!

Back from Venice, I had a week to recover before being hit by two big film festivals at home - the 24th Raindance starts on Wednesday, and press screenings for the 60th London Film Festival (5-16 Oct) started on Monday. But we also need to watch normal releases coming into cinemas, and the biggest this week was Deepwater Horizon, starring Mark Wahlberg as the super-heroic supervisor who kicks into action mode as the biggest oil spill in US history unfolds off the coast of Louisiana. The film is very well made, but relentlessly celebrates its machismo.

We also had Renee Zellweger in the surprisingly entertaining sequel Bridget Jones's Baby, David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong'o in the genuinely inspiring true drama Queen of Katwe, Daniel Radcliffe and Toni Collette in the intense undercover thriller Imperium, and Sam Neill in the absolutely delightful Kiwi adventure Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

From Ireland, Emma Greenwell stars in the gently amiable but also nicely pointed gardening drama Dare to Be Wild. And there were three docs: filmmaker Brian De Palma takes us through his career in the aptly titled De Palma, a vivid depiction of the past 60 years of Hollywood. The Guv'nor energetically traces the life of British boxer and enforcer Lenny McLean, largely through the eyes of his son Jamie. And Francofonia is Russian filmmaker Aleksandr Sokurov's witty, experimental exploration of the Louvre (it's a companion piece to his 2002 Hermitage drama Russian Ark).

I'll report on London festival films once that event kicks off, and also on Raindance movies I catch up with. Other movies in the diary this week include Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train, Mel Gibson in Blood Father, Luke Treadaway in A Street Cat Named Bob and Anne Fontaine's The Innocents.

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