Thursday, 6 July 2017

Critical Week: Say your prayers

As another heatwave settles in over London, I had two film-free days this week. First was the baseball event in Hyde Park (see the post below), and the other was the Critics' Circle annual summer party on the gorgeous roof terrace at Picturehouse Central. As for films, I really enjoyed Sofia Coppola's remake of The Beguiled, but then I love her loose filmmaking style and the way she lets her actors bring out unexpected depths of character. At the other end of the cinematic spectrum, the franchise continues with Cars 3, the fifth (don't forget the Planes movies) in the series about a world populated by vehicles but not humans. The set-up is just as odd, but the movie has an earthy simplicity to it.

Much more offbeat, Bong Joon Ho's Okja is a witty, involving action adventure with very dark themes about globalisation and sharp performances from Tilda Swinton (times two), Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano. Also worth a look is It Comes at Night, an inventively complex horror movie starring Joel Edgerton. It's set after some kind of undefined apocalypse but heavily reminiscent of the world today. Hickok is a cheesy Western tracing the story of the iconic historical figure, nicely played by a beefy Luke Hemsworth. And Do You Take This Man is another thoughtful drama starring Anthony Rapp, set around a pre-wedding dinner at which the usual personal issues are brought to the surface.

This coming week, screenings include Terrence Malick's Song to Song, Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke in Maudie, the Aussie sequel A Few Less Men, the horror thriller Killing Ground and the fact-based drama Dark Night.

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