Thursday, 17 May 2018

Critical Week: Ladies who lunch

While many of my colleagues are in Cannes, I've been here in London catching up on lots of movies. Bigger titles included Book Club, which stars Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda and Mary Steenburgen as women who find new spark when they read Fifty Shades of Grey together. It's lazy but amiable enough. And then there was Deadpool 2, in which Ryan Reynolds reprises his irreverent superhero for another anarchic adventure. It's a lot better than the overrated first film, very funny but less smug and more complex.

Nicole Kidman goes enjoyably punk in John Cameron Mitchell's How to Talk to Girls at Parties, a punk sci-fi romance that's bursting with scruffy energy but struggles to maintain its oddball plot. The Sundance hit The Miseducation of Cameron Post stars Chloe Grace Moretz as a teen sent to gay therapy camp. It's strikingly realistic with terrific performances and an important theme. The American indie caper romp Carter & June is energetic but far too misogynistic for its own good. And the British indie thriller Welcome to Curiosity weaves a few plot strands together in ways that are colourful but ultimately flimsy.

There were also two films from Mexico: A Place to Be is a sensitive fact-based drama that explores immigration issues from unexpected angles, while Boy Undone is a gripping amnesia thriller with a romantic emotional core. And there were also two star-packed docs: in McKellen: Playing the Part, Ian McKellen recounts his life and career with honesty and insight, while 50 Years Legal features a range of noted figures (including McKellen of course) talking about the history of gay rights in Britain.

The big screening this coming week is, of course, Solo: A Star Wars Story. Looking forward to that. Also in the diary: Travis Mathews' drama Discreet, the street-life doc Hooked, Paul Wright's collage doc Arcadia, the film producer doc The Fabulous Alan Carr, the Mongol Derby doc All the Wild Horses and a restoration of The Beatles' animated romp Yellow Submarine.

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