Saturday, 28 June 2008

The rising star

In the week that his star-making Prince Caspian opens in the UK, up-and-coming heartthrob Ben Barnes turned up in Edinburgh to promote his much smaller-budget British comedy Bigga Than Ben, a Borat-style romp with a serious twist in its tale of two Russians trying to rip off London.

And now it's the final day of the festival, with only the awards to hand out tomorrow along with a full day of screenings tomorrow of the films the organisers have flagged up as the best of the fest. I'll be back with a rundown of the winners tomorrow.

Here are two highlights today...

Married Life (Ira Sachs, Can) ***
A terrific cast and a stylish attention to period detail set this quietly intense drama out from the crowd. Chris Cooper plays a man who is desperate to leave his wife (a terrific Patricia Clarkson) for his Grace Kelly-like mistress (Rachel McAdams), and he might even resort to extreme measures. Then his best friend (Pierce Brosnan) decides he wants the mistress for himself. Set in 1949, the film has a slow-burning Hitchcock vibe, although for the serious issues it's tackling, it also feels a bit repressed and slight.

Wall-E (Andrew Stanton, US) *****
This is my pick for the best film of the entire festival. Pixar departs from formula (for the most part) to create another beautifully animated gem of a movie. And this endearing post-apocalyptic romantic adventure never puts a foot wrong... MORE >

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