Thursday, 8 June 2017

Critical Week: Feel the beat

Summer is a strange time for film critics, because the studios hold their big blockbusters until the very last moment. Or in one case this week, beyond all our deadlines. In previous weeks, films like Wonder Woman and King Arthur were screened just a few days before release, while this week's The Mummy screening was only hours before it opened on Friday. You can kind of see why, since it's a big action blockbuster with little to appeal to critics, but of course all critics are fans on the inside. We just need stronger stomachs than some others.

Otherwise this week, the bigger titles included The Last Word (above), with a welcome lead role for Shirley MacLaine, plus an up-for-it Amanda Seyfried. Its smart, sharp approach is somewhat softened by a flood of aphorisms in the final act. All Eyez on Me is a biopic about Tupac Shakur, very much in the vein of Straight Outta Compton (reviews are embargoed). Further afield was the American low-budget I Love You Both, which is set up as a rom-com about twins who fall for the same man, but turns into more of a drama with comical edges. And the independent British drama God's Own Country has already wowed Sundance and Berlin, and is now set to open Edinburgh in a couple of weeks. It's drop-dead gorgeous, a five-star debut for writer-director Francis Lee with breakout performances and awards-worthy work from the crew.

This coming week we have Brian Cox as Churchill, Emma Thompson in Alone in Berlin, the British indie Daphne and the documentary Remembering the Man. Thankfully, the UK election will be behind us and we can get on with normal life again. Hopefully with a bit of hope and some nice sunny summer weather....

No comments: