Monday, 12 October 2015
LFF 6: Charm the fans
dir John Crowley; with Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson 15/Ire ***.
Constantly surging emotions become a little overwhelming very soon after this film opens, never letting up until the very end. Most of this is genuinely resonant, thanks to a sensitive script and transparent performances from the entire cast. But even a slight hint of loose energy wouldn't have gone amiss, and might have helped balance the romantic suds with earthy realism.
From Afar [Desde Allá]
dir Lorenzo Vigas; with Alfredo Castro, Luis Silva 15/Ven ****
Twisty and unexpected, this Venezuelan drama stars acclaimed Chilean actor Alfredo Castro as a lonely man who strikes up a tentative relationship with a young street thug. It's a remarkably involving film, because the characters have so many sides that they lead the audience on a quest for understanding. Equally impressive is how first-time filmmaker Lorenzo Vigas never sensationalises the subject matter.
dir Robert Eggers; with Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson ****
Taking elements from historical accounts that would go on to become classic fairy tales, filmmaker Eggers creates a period movie that plays on our culture's deepest fears. It's also a strikingly well-made horror film, offering eerily realistic settings that are filled with character subtlety, unnerving details and plenty of big jolts. Although genre fans might find its arthouse pacing a bit dull.
My Skinny Sister [Min Lilla Syster]
dir Sanna Lenken; with Rebecka Josephson, Amy Deasismont 15/Swe ***.
Essentially an issue movie, this Swedish drama is effective because it sticks closely to an unusual perspective, drawing out resonant themes in a variety of relationships. The topic is eating disorders, and seeing it through a little sister's gradually dawning understanding adds unusual angles to the film. Which makes it more involving than expected.