Film Review Daily


Looking Ahead


 

UK opening dates for new films:

 

 

February 16:
 
Father Figures: Laurence Sher’s comedy sees Owen Wilson and Ed Helms as brothers who find out that their biological father is not, as they had presumed, dead. Their mother (Glenn Close) was sexually liberal with her favours during the 1970s, as the brothers find out when they set off on a road trip to locate their dad. Cast also includes J. K. Simmons, Terry Bradshaw, Christopher Walken, Ving Rhames, Katt Williams, Harry Shearer.

Father Figures

Ed Helms and Owen Wilson feeling filial

 

Lady Bird: Greta Gerwig wrote and directed her splendid coming of age comedy-drama set in Sacramento in 2002 where Christine (Lady Bird, played by Saoirse Ronan) lives with her parents (Tracy Letts and Laurie Metcalf) but none too happily. With her best friend Julie (Beanie Feldstein) she joins the school’s theatre club where she meets and falls for Danny (Lucas Hedges). Timothée Chalamet, Stephen McKinley Henderson and Lois Smith also star.
 

  

February 23:
 

Birth of the Dragon: George Nolfi’s tribute to the life and times of kung fu hero Bruce Lee, is set in San Francisco in the 1960s and concerns the battle between the young and rising star Bruce Lee and kung fu master Wong Jack Man. With Xia Yu, Philip Ng, Wang Lian, Yu Hai, Wu Yue, Steve McKee, Steven Roberts, Terry Chen.
Dark River: Writer-director Clio Barnard’s drama is set in Yorkshire on a family farm which seems to be cursed and where life is a struggle. Ruth Wilson plays a woman returning to her family home after her abusive father’s death, only to find that it’s still a hard life beset with problems, not least of which is her brother’s alcoholism. With Mark Stanley, Sean Bean, Esme Creed-Miles, Aiden McCullough, Shane Attwooll.

Finding Your Feet: Richard Loncraine’s comedy-drama concerns a middle-class woman (Imelda Staunton) who finds out that her husband of forty years (John Sessions) has been having a fling with her best friend (Josie Lawrence). Fleeing the marital home she goes to stay with her estranged sister (Celia Imrie) who introduces her to the delights of living on a council estate. At a dance she meets her sister’s friends (Timothy Spall, David Hayman and Joanna Lumley) and gets a new outlook on life and love.

I, Tonya: Staying on the ice, but this is a different story altogether with actress Margot Robbie playing former figure skater Tonya Harding who, although being a gifted performer and Olympic champion, never really fitted in well with the ice skating establishment, especially after an incident on the ice involving another competitor, Nancy Kerrigan. Craig Gillespie directs and the cast also includes Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walker Hauser, Caitlin Carver.

The Ice King: Writer-director James Erskine’s documentary on the once celebrated skater John Curry who was the Olympic champion who had an immense influence on the world and the art of ice skating by dragging it forwards and presenting it as the art form of ice dancing. Through archive footage, interviews with friends and family Erskine builds a picture of a now forgotten hero of the ice world.
Monster Hunt 2: Chinese film from director Raman Hui, a sequel to the original Monster Hunt, about the coexisting of the Human race alongside the Monster race. With Tony Leung, Bai Baihe, Jing Boran, Li Yuchun, Huang Lei, Sandra Ng, Eric Tsang.
Native: Science fiction drama about two scientists who set out to discover what lies out there in the beyond. Is there life in space and where are those strange noises coming from? With Rupert Graves, Ian Hart, Ellie Kendrick, Leanne Best, Joe Macaulay, Daniel Brocklebank. Directed and co-written by Daniel Fitzsimmons.

  

 

March 1:

 

Red Sparrow: First Dominika Egorova (Jennifer Lawrence) was a ballerina, until being recruited by the Russian intelligence service Red Sparrow, which turns her into a spy. And now she’s thinking of becoming a traitor… From Francis Lawrence, the director of I Am Legend and The Hunger Games films. Also starring Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeremy Irons, Ciarán Hinds and Joely Richardson, no less.

Jennifer Lawrence

 

 

March 2:

 

Game Night: One night a week, a group of friends gathers for an evening of games when they’re invited to join a murder mystery party. And the murder is real… From John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the directing duo behind 2015’s Vacation. Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kyle Chandler and Danny Huston star.

 

 

March 9:

  

Wonder Wheel: Set on Coney Island in the 1950s, Woody Allen’s drama stars Kate Winslet as the wanton wife of a carousel operator (Jim Belushi) who falls for a hunky lifeguard (Justin Timberlake). Then her stepdaughter (Juno Temple) turns up out of the blue… Some say this could be Woody Allen’s penultimate film.

 

 

March 16:

 

Peter Rabbit: Margot Robbie, who briefly supplied the voice of Winnie-the-Pooh in Goodbye Christopher Robin, is now the voice of Flopsy in this part-animated, part-live-action take on the Beatrix Potter characters. James Corden voices the title role, with others supplied by Daisy Ridley (Cottontail), Elizabeth Debicki (Mopsy), Matt Lucas (Benjamin Bunny) and Sia (Mrs Tiggy-Winkle). Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and Sam Neill play the humans. From Will Gluck, the director of the critically derided Annie remake. 
Peter Rabbit

 

 

March 23:

 

A Wrinkle in TimeA family-friendly fantasy based on the 1962 novel by Madeleine L'Engle, this is Disney’s second version of the tale (the first being a 2003 TV movie). Here, two young siblings set off into space to find their missing father. Ava DuVernay, director of Selma (2013), holds the reins, with a cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña and Levi Miller. Available in 3D and IMAX.

 

 

April 27:

 

Avengers: Infinity War: Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Chris Pratt criss-cross the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the sequel to Avengers: Age of Ultron. And there’s more: Robert Downey Jr, Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Renner, Brie Larson, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Scarlett Johansson, Benicio del Toro, Tom Holland (as Spider-Man), Chadwick Boseman, Gwyneth Paltrow and others in an almighty collision of superheroes. Anthony Russo and Joe Russo orchestrate the very expensive proceedings.

Avengers_Infinity War

Rocket Raccoon, Chris Hemsworth and Pom Klementieff

 

 

May 25:

 

The Breadwinner: After her father is unjustly arrested, Parvana, a girl in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, must dress as a boy so that she can work to support her mother and sister. A Canadian-Irish-Luxembourgian animated feature based on the best-selling novel by Deborah Ellis and produced by Angelina Jolie, The Breadwinner has been nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Oscar.

Breadwinner, The

 

 

June 6:

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: You can't keep a good dinosaur down. There are no plot details yet, but we do know that the fifth instalment in the Jurassic Park series stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Toby Jones, Rafe Spall, Geraldine Chaplin and James 'Babe' Cromwell. J.A. Bayona is on the megaphone.

Jurassic Park - Fallen Kingdom

Chris Pratt (on the right)

  

 

August 31:

 

The Children Act: Drama based on the novel by Ian McEwan, with Emma Thompson as an eminent High Court judge faced with a moral quandary. Not only is it rare for Emma Thompson to have a film to herself – she is a wonderful character actress – but she’s in good hands under the helmsmanship of Richard Eyre, with Stanley Tucci and Ben Chaplin in support. However, the boy who throws the judge a moral curveball is played by Fionn Whitehead, who was the star of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk.

 

 

November 9:

 

Widows: Steve McQueen's latest film is a story of four women who bond together in contemporary Chicago to finish the criminal enterprise jump-started by their late husbands. And McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave, has amassed a mouth-watering cast: Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, André Holland, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Carrie Coon, Jacki Weaver, Garret Dillahunt and Jon Bernthal.

  

 

 

MICHAEL DARVELL