Thursday, 24 January 2019

Critical Week: Brotherly love

There weren't many press screenings for me over the past week, as I was a bit busy with the London critics' awards. But I did manage to catch up with two coming-of-age dramas. Mid90s is Jonah Hill's writing-directing debut, an involving, realistic drama about a young teen (Sunny Suljic, above right, with Lucas Hedges as his thuggish big brother) who turns to skateboarding to find his place in life. The British film Old Boys has currents of comedy and slapstick as it follows a teen (Alex Lawther) at a posh boarding school caught in a Cyrano-style love triangle. It's a bit goofy, but engaging and inventive.

Even further afield, In Like Flynn is an Australian biopic about Errol Flynn's pre-Hollywood days. Thomas Cocquerel is dashing in the lead role, but the film is far too cliched and corny. The Polish drama Nina is set up as a lesbian coming-of-age drama for a married woman, but the elusive filmmaking leaves the audience on the outside looking in. And ParTy Boi: Black Diamonds in Ice Castles is a gritty documentary about the rise of crystal meth among America's black gay subculture. It's pretty harrowing, cautionary without shying away from telling the whole story.

This coming week we have screenings of the upcoming animated sure-fire hits The Lego Movie 2 and How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, plus Christophe Honore's Sorry Angel, and the British independent dramas Lucid, He Loves Me and Wretched Things.

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