Thursday, 15 March 2018

Critical Week: Fireside chat

London critics watched a few higher profile films this year, including the incoming young adult romantic disease drama Midnight Sun, which like most films in this genre is aimed at 12-year-old girls. Patrick Schwarzenegger and Bella Thorne are the picturesque leads. A more grown up approach sets the new Tomb Raider reboot apart from the last adaptation, including a fierce performance by Alicia Vikander. But fans may bristle at the film's deliberately grounded approach. Wes Anderson's new stop-motion animated adventure comedy Isle of Dogs is a pure, utterly bonkers delight. And Madame is a French farce with a high-profile cast (Toni Collette, Harvey Keitel, Tom Hughes) and a surprisingly meaningful plot.

A little off the grid, My Friend Dahmer stars Disney hero Ross Lynch as the notorious murder before he started killing people. It's a high school movie with a black sense of humour and unusually strong performances. Gook is Justin Chon's lively, artful comedy-drama set around the 1992 Los Angeles riots. They Remain is a very clever low-budget horror movie with sci-fi overtones. From France, My Golden Days is an ambitious look at a man's life and loves, a big exhausting but packed with lovely moments. And from Finland, Screwed is a micro-budget movie about attraction and sexuality, set in lovely locations with a very strong cast.

This coming week there are a few more big ones: Steven Spielberg's complex adventure Ready Player One, Ava DuVernay's take on the classic A Wrinkle in Time, the robot action blockbuster sequel Pacific Rim: Uprising, Claire Foy in Steven Soderberg's Unsane, Rupert Everett's The Happy Prince and the French drama I Got Life! BFI Flare kicks off this week too, opening with Ellen Page and Kate Mara in My Days of Mercy. Look for daily updates during the festival's run 21st March to 1st April.

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