The thing with romantic comedies is that we know where they’re going, and therefore they need to hit us with something new, or at least emotionally manipulate us enough to engage.
The action takes place in a golden time before mobile phones and social media. The place to go for advice is Lucy’s sidewalk stand – (price still 5c) and little red-headed girls are still central to the plot.
Johnny Depp gives easily his best performance of the last 5 years (possibly longer) in Scott Cooper’s solid take on the life of FBI informant and crime King of South Boston, Jimmy ‘Whitey’ Bulger.
Let’s get things started by saying that The Dressmaker is not the film you expect it to be – and it’s a better film for it.
There are films you love on sight, there are films you grow to admire, and there are films which, the more you think about them, the worse they get. Sadly, Pan falls into the latter category.
After the rising tension of 2011’s Snowtown, Justin Kurzel returns with a similarly bleak Macbeth. Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the murderous duo, Kurzel’s take on the Shakespearean bloodbath is a slow burn psychological thriller
Opening with an incident late in James Brown’s life that is startlingly strange, Tate Taylor broaches his biopic of the Godfather of Soul with an individual outlook. Written by award-winning playwright Jez Butterworth and his brother John-Henry Get On Up is not your typical, straight-forward rags to riches story.
The brainchild of Belle and Sebastian singer/songwriter Stuart Murdoch, kickstarter-funded God Help the Girl is likely to be the most adorkable (apologies) indie film of the summer.
For his feature debut, Charlie Stratton has taken on ‘Therese Racquin’, Émile Zola’s 1867 melodramatic novel. Abandoned with her aunt (Jessica Lange) as a child, Therese (Elizabeth Olsen) becomes something of a nurse maid to her sickly cousin, Camille (Tom Felton).
John Butler’s feature-length debut is very funny, downright silly in many (many) places and full to the brim with idiotic, down-to-earth laughs. The setup is simple and the follow through even more ‘no-frills’ with joyous results.
Francois Ozon’s coming-of-sexual-awakening tale opens with his central family on its summer holiday in the South of France. Isabelle (Marine Vacth) is turning 17 and decides that now is the time for her to lose her virginity.
Peter Landesman’s directorial debut, adapted from the book ‘Four Days in November’ by Vincent Bugliosi, concentrates on the stories of the secret service, tasked with taking control of the President’s body, Abraham Zapruder who caught the assassination on tape, the staff at the hospital (the Parkland of the title) that treated both the president and Lee Harvey Oswald, the FBI agents who feel they missed their opportunity to catch him, and the assassin’s family.
As is typical of a middle part of a movie sequence, Catching Fire struggles to find a truly climactic ending and there are times when you feel it approaching that you wish it would hurry up and get to the point. But it does leave you salivating for the next hit.
The black-and white visuals lend the film a classic feel, with the grounded nature of the script and the low-key delivery throughout garnering an excellent balance of empathy and sympathy for Frances, as the audience recognises their own lives, friendships and hardships in her experiences.