Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Critical Week: Boys will be boys

It's been a relatively low screening week here in London, mainly because most of the PR agencies were at the Berlin Film Festival. The biggest movie screened here was the Coen brothers' new Hollywood romp Hail, Caesar!, and it was a nice surprise to see that it's a more serious film than it looks. Along with deliriously knowing pastiches of 1950s movie genres (including Channing Tatum's show-stopping song and dance "No Dames", above), there's something much more thoughtful going on here.

We also had one of Robin Williams' last films, Boulevard, an intimate drama about a 60-year-old man finally coming to terms with his sexuality. It's beautifully played by the entire cast, and remarkably sensitive. Golden Years is an oddly fluffy British romp about retirees who set off on a bank-robbing spree when their pensions are lost. At least the cast is solid. And Naz & Maalik is a clever comedy about two teens in Brooklyn who, over one afternoon, are confronted with issues of religion, politics and sexuality.

Coming up on Sunday is the Oscar ceremony (all-night in Britain from 1.30am to 5.30am), which I am watching live at the official Ampas party in town. It'll be a lot of fun being with a large crowd of diehard movie fans, then travelling home as the sun comes up. As for screenings, I've got Gerard Butler's action sequel London Has Fallen, Sacha Baron Cohen's spy comedy Grimsby, Geoffrey Rush's drama The Daughter, the filmmaker conversation doc Hitchcock/Truffaut, the American politics doc The Brainwashing of My Dad, and the short film collection Mexican Men, among other things.

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