Thursday, 10 January 2019

Critical Week: Heat and dust

Screenings are only just starting up in the new year, so I've only seen a few things this week. Although much of the attention for film critics centred around reacting to Sunday's rather odd line-up of Golden Globe winners and Wednesday's just as bizarre collection of Bafta nominations. Meanwhile, I saw Love Sonia, a powerful Indian drama about a 17-year-old (Mrunal Thakur, above) who is trafficked from her small village to Mumbai and beyond. It's pretty harrowing, but strikingly well made and urgently important. Instant Family is a rare comedy with a more serious, meaty theme, as Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne play a couple that fosters three siblings. It's played for laughs, but also remembers that the events carry weight as well.

Jellyfish is a small British drama about a feisty 15-year-old (the amazing Liv Hill) who takes care of her two younger siblings as well as her clearly unwell mother. It's superbly well written and directed, with a bracing realism that brings out the deeper themes. Robert Guedigian's ensemble drama The House by the Sea is very French: lots of people sitting around agonising about their lives, relationships, the changing world. But it's beautifully assembled and full of moving moments.

The screening schedule is picking up now, and over the next week I have M Night Shyamalan's Glass, Tom Everett Scott in I Hate Kids, the sinkhole horror The Hole in the Ground, the acclaimed Italian drama Happy as Lazzaro, and the coming-of-age drama Pond Life. I'm also in the final week of prep as chair and chief organiser of the 39th London Critics' Circle Film Awards. So it'll be a busy one!

No comments: