Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Critical Week: Taking aim

London critics finally caught up with the last of the season's awards contenders this week, mainly because the deadline for nominations in the London Critics' Circle Film Awards is this Friday night. The biggies included: Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained, an entertaining and very pointed Western starring Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx; Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty, a gritty and troubling military drama; and Christopher McQuarrie's Jack Reacher, a smart and entertaining mystery thriller starring Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible mode.

We also got to see Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, projected for us in 3D and 48 frames-per-second, which essentially turned one of the biggest cinema screens in Europe into a gigantic flat-screen TV. But it's our eyes that aren't used to the staggering realism - and the film is an enjoyable beginning to an epic journey (OK, so it wasn't quite this epic in the book).

Finally, two smaller films: the harrowing documentary The Central Park Five, which skilfully traces a vile miscarriage of justice in the American legal system; and Carlos Reygadas' surreal collage Post Tenebras Lux, which explores the human animal with artistry and emotion even if it makes little logical sense.

Later this week I'm heading to Los Angeles for the holidays with family and friends. Films I hope to catch out there include the Seth Rogen/Barbra Streisand road comedy The Guilt Trip, Billy Crystal and Bette Midler in Parental Guidance and the David Chase drama Not Fade Away. I'll comment on those and others (I still have screeners to watch) as I see them. And I'll post my Best of 2012 - aka the 32nd Shadows Awards - in the first few days of January.

No comments: