Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Critical Week: Find a reason to smile

Denzel Washington's directing debut Fences screened to the press this week, with an eye on awards season. August Wilson's text is simply glorious. Washington reprises his Tony-winning stage role opposite a devastating turn by Viola Davis. And there's more awards-worthy acting in 20th Century Women, with Annette Bening giving a beautifully textured turn in Mike Mills' latest engaging autobiographical drama. And then there's Nicole Kidman as Dev Patel's emotive adoptive mother in Lion, a powerful true story of a young man's search for the past he literally lost.

Other films included the enjoyably camp but rather uneven mystery Kiss Me, Kill Me, the sumptuously animated castaway fable The Red Turtle, Kirsten Johnson's astoundingly revelatory memoir Cameraperson, and a sobering exploration of food waste in the lively doc Just Eat It.

This coming week, as voting deadlines loom for various awards, there are screenings of Office Christmas Party with Jennifer Aniston, Miss Sloane with Jessica Chastain, Certain Women with Kristen Stewart and Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th. I also need to tackle the eight-hour doc OJ: Made in America.

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