Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Critical Week: Teach a boy to fish...

Critics caught up with Stephen Daldry's Slumdog Millionaire-style adventure Trash this week. It's a lively romp about three teens who make a surprise discovery while scavenging in the Rio dump. It's entertaining even if it feels badly contrived. The Wedding Ringer is a unexpectedly hilarious comedy starring Josh Gad as a groom-to-be who hires fast-talking Kevin Hart to be his best man. Thankfully it has a sharp sense of character and some very funny writing.

Gregg Araki's White Bird in a Blizzard feels oddly tame compared to the filmmaker's previous work, but it has a dark edge to it that holds the interest, even if the teen-girl set up (Shailene Woodley coming of age as her mother Eva Green goes missing) feels a bit overcooked. But it has a terrific sting in the tail. We'll Never Have Paris is an awkward rom-com starring Simon Helberg as an annoying guy trying to win his girlfriend (Melanie Lynskey) back after he botches the proposal. But he's so unlikeable that he clearly doesn't deserve her. And Hinterland is a microbudget British drama about two old friends (Lori Campbell and writer-director Harry Macqueen) who run off to Cornwall for two days to re-bond. Or something. It's so vague that it's hard to tell, but it looks great.

This coming week we have the much-delayed Jupiter Ascending (screening to press only a day before it opens), the Oscar-nominated The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, Bernard Rose's The Devil's Violinist, the blackly comical horror Suburban Gothic, the real-life horror The Town That Dreaded Sundown, the topical teen romance Boy Meets Girl and the acclaimed documentary The Overnighters.

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