Thursday, 15 June 2017

Critical Week: On an adventure

There were some powerful performances in press screenings this past week. The offbeat family drama-cum-thriller The Book of Henry is held together by Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher (pictured) and Jacob Tremblay despite its jarring shifts between genres. The artfully internalised Churchill is anchored by an awards-worthy turn by Brian Cox despite its oddly overfamiliar plot. The WWII drama Alone in Berlin has the terrific Emma Thompson, Brendan Gleeson and Daniel Bruhl to hold the attention even when the pacing gets rather dull. And there was a wonderfully light-hearted role for Isabelle Huppert in Bavo Defurne's enjoyably quirky Belgian musical comedy-drama Souvenir.

Further afield, the small-budget British drama Daphne struggles to maintain its narrative but creates a nice sense of life in multicultural London. And the powerfully moving Australian doc Remembering the Man is an insightful account of the life of Tim Conigrave, whose Holding the Man is a seminal account of the Aids pandemic.

Screening this coming week are Edgar Wright's Baby Driver, Michael Bay's Transformers: The Last Knight, Phyllida Lloyd's all-female Julius Caesar, the French political thriller Scribe, the Finnish biopic Tom of Finland, Laura Poitras' Assange documentary Risk, and the Syrian Civil War doc City of Ghosts.

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