Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Critical Week: Pick a card, any card

In a very busy screening week in London, we finally caught up with the magician heist thriller Now You See Me, which starts as an enjoyable romp with a terrific cast (including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman) before turning very silly indeed. From here we move through the genres: romance came with Stuck in Love, a slick ensemble film (Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Lily Cole) in which relationships are all very tidy; terror came from Ethan Hawke in the thoughtful and genuinely scary dystopic horror The Purge and the derivative but ultimately enjoyably nutty The Last Exorcism Part II; and topical thrills came from the oddly involving eco-terrorism drama The East and the darkly inventive human trafficking drama Eden.

Off the beaten path, we had the deeply charming coming-of-age drama The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom, the controversially explicit but darkly thoughtful gay drama I Want Your Love, and Ulrich Seidl's chilling and blackly comical sex-tourism drama Paradise: Love. And finally, there were three docs: Sarah Polley's staggeringly inventive and moving exploration of her own family history in Stories We Tell, Shane Meadows' beautifully assembled exploration of a rock band in The Stone Roses: Made of Stone, and a somewhat indulgent but fascinating look at Johnny Cash's manager in My Father and the Man in Black.

This coming week we have Brad Pitt in the zombie blockbuster World War Z, the prequel Monsters University, Tina Fey in Admission, the second part of Ulrich Seidl's trilogy Paradise: Faith, the Indonesia massacre documentary The Act of Killing, Irish filmmaker Pat Collins' aural documentary Silence, a special BFI presentation by James Franco of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, and the lavish restoration of Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra up on the big screen where it belongs.

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