Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Critical Week: Shake your money maker

It feels like months since I've done a regular weekly blog entry! (It was 7th October.) After the one-two punch of London and Abu Dhabi film festivals, I'm back to normal for three weeks. In the three days since flying home from the UAE, I've only seen four films....

Get On Up is an ambitious biopic about James Brown starring the seriously talented Chadwick Boseman, although the film is a bit too fragmented to properly convey much insight into Brown's own genius. One of the year's most hotly anticipated films, Interstellar is Christopher Nolan's trip into space to seek a future for humanity, featuring strong performances from Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and others but a plot that wobbles badly in the middle. Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?! is the latest instalment in the silly British Christmas musical series, as another new teacher (Martin Clunes) is tormented and ultimately won over by Marc Wootton's Mr Poppy and his ludicrously adorable students. And X+Y is a remarkable little British drama anchored by a powerhouse performance from Asa Butterfield as an autistic maths-whiz teen.

This coming week, I'll be watching the year's next blockbuster The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, plus Tommy Lee Jones' starry Western The Homesman, Wong Kar-wai's much delayed award-winning film The Grandmaster, the German drama Diplomacy, the French drama Eastern Boys, the Swiss drama The Circle and the Arab Spring documentary We Are the Giant.

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