Film Review Daily


Looking Ahead


 

UK opening dates for new films:

 

 

 

February 21:

 

Brahms: The Boy II: Not surprisingly, this is a sequel to The Boy (2016), in which a nanny was expected to babysit a porcelain doll called Brahms. Now a new family moves into the creepy Heelshire Mansion, where the youngest son discovers that Brahms is still resident. You can’t keep a good doll down… Katie Holmes and Ralph Ineson star.

End of the Century: Argentinian film from writer-director Lucio Castro about two gay men who, after meeting in Barcelona, eventually realise they had encountered each other some twenty years earlier. With Juan Barberini, Ramon Pujol, Mia Maestro, Mariano Lopez Seoane and Helen Celia Castro-Wood.

Greed: Writer-director Michael Winterbottom’s satire on wealth and those who have it concerns the sixtieth birthday party of a billionaire fashion mogul. With Steve Coogan, David Mitchell, Isla Fisher, Sophie Cookson, Shirley Henderson, Stephen Fry, Pixie Lott and Asa Butterfield.

Incidental  Characters: Benjamin Verrall directs his own screenplay about four differing lives in the Sussex county town of Lewes: a hopeless romantic, a real dreamer, an alcoholic and a social recluse. Cast includes Sophia Capasso, Isabella Marshall, Howard Perrett and Steve Watts.

Like a Boss: Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne play two friends as different as chalk and cheddar who set up a cosmetics firm together and immediately get into financial trouble… Expect the comedy to be on the broad side. Miguel Arteta directs and Salma Hayek, Jennifer Coolidge and Billy Porter co-star.

Little Joe: Alice (Emily Beecham) is a plant breeder developing new species. When she takes a specimen home to her son Joe (Kit Connor), far from being the therapeutic plant she thought it was, it suddenly develops more sinister characteristics. With Ben Whishaw, Kerry Fox, Leanne Best, Andrew Rajan, Lindsay Duncan and David Wilmot. Ms Beecham, incidentally, won the best actress award at Cannes for her role.

Midnight Family: This Mexican documentary from Luke Lorentzen is about a family in Mexico City who run their own ambulance service in a fight to get as many patients on board. With Fer, Josue and Juan Ocha.

The Public: When a bitter cold front descends on Cincinnati, a group of homeless people occupy the public library. But in no time the sit-in becomes an opportunity for police aggression and political ascendancy. Emilio Estevez directs and stars alongside Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Gabrielle Union, Michael K. Williams and Jeffrey Wright.

United Nation: Three Decades of Drum and Bass: Terry Stone and Richard Turner’s documentary is about the creation and rise of the electronic dance music scene. With Adam Saint, Clarissa Saverio, Charlotte Devaney, DJ Adam F, Sigma, DJ Fresh, Ratpack and Grooverider etc.

Waiting for Anya: Anjelica Huston, Jean Reno, Gilles Marini, Thomas Kretschmann and Sadie Frost star in a wartime story about the smuggling of Jewish children between France and Spain - with the help of a young shepherd and local widow. Direction and screenplay by Ben Cookson, from the novel by Michael Morpurgo

 

 

February 28:

 

Colour Out of Space: When a meteorite lands on a New England farm, the invasion creates a terrifying effect on the land, infecting everything with a weird and unearthly colour, leading to the mutation of every form of life. With Nicolas Cage, Joely Richardson, Madeleine Arthur, Elliot Knight and Tommy Chong. Co-written and directed by Richard Stanley, based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft.

Dark Waters: Partly based on an article in The New York Times Magazine, this legal thriller stars Mark Ruffalo (below) as a corporate lawyer who defends chemical companies against allegations of pollution. But when he visits an affected farm in West Virginia – close to where his grandmother lives – he can no longer turn a blind eye… Todd Haynes directs a cast that includes Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Camp, Victor Garber, Bill Pullman and Mare Winningham.

Dark Waters

 

Downhill: Having escaped from an avalanche during a family Alpine skiing holiday, a husband and wife begin to think about their lives and their relationship with each other. Nat Faxon and Jim Rash direct Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Will Ferrell, Miranda Otto, Zoe Chao and Zach Woods in an American remake of the Swedish masterpiece Force Majeure (2014).

The Invisible Man: A reboot of James Whales’ 1933 film version of H.G. Wells’s novel. Leigh Whannell directs, with Elisabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge, Michael Dorman and Storm Reid top-billed.

Portrait of a Lady On Fire: French film from writer-director Celine Sciamma about an 18th-century painter who has a commission to do a surprise wedding portrait of the bride-to-be - but without having access to the fiancée as sitter. In spite of that the two women develop a close relationship... With Noemie Merlant and Adẻle Haenel and Valeria Golino.

True History of the Kelly Gang: Shaun Grant has adapted Peter Carey’s Booker Prize-winning novel about bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang at the time they were being pursued by the authorities in 1870s’ Australia. Justin Kurzel directs George McKay (Sunshine on Leith, 1917) as Kelly, with Essie Davis as Ellen Kelly, Russell Crowe as fellow outlaw Harry Power, Nicholas Hoult, Thomasin McKenzie and Charlie Hunnam.

Villain: Philip Barantini’s film is about a former criminal who, on release from prison, tries to get back with his daughter and solve his brother’s money problems. With Craig Fairbrass and Robert Glenister.

 

 

March 5:

 

Sea Without Shore: Swedish drama from Andre Semenza that explores love and loss as a relationship between two women ends in a death. The surviving lover then goes on a mystical journey... With Livia Rangel, Anna Mesquita, Ankie Hermansson and Fernanda Lippi.

 

  

March 6:

 

Escape from Pretoria: Francis Annan’s film is based on a true prison break story by Tom Jenkin about two political prisoners who planned a getaway during the heyday of apartheid in South Africa. With Daniel Radcliffe, Ian Hart, Daniel Webber and Ratidzo Mambo.

Fantasy Island: Horror film from director Jeff Wadlow about a tropical island that promises much in the way of dream fantasies but which all too soon turn into nightmares - based on the cult TV series of 1977. With Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale, Austin Stowell, Portia Doubleday and Michael Rooker.

Immortal Hero: Japanese film from Hiroshi Akabane about a man who suffers a life-threatening and near-death experience that enables him to heal his own body. As a reborn man he plans to share his new-found wisdom with friends and a family that are suspicious of his motives. With Hisaaki Takeuchi, Fumika Shimizu, Tamao Satô, Kei Kinoshita and Shio Abe.

Military Wives: When the wives of those fighting in Afghanistan form a choir, they become a media sensation. While inspired by a true-life phenomenon, this is a fictitious interpreptation from the director of The Full Monty, Peter Cattaneo. Kristin Scott Thomas, Sharon Horgan and Jason Flemyng co-star.

Onward: Dan Scanlon’s animated adventure is about two teenage brothers who endeavour to discover if there really is magic in the world outside, as they try to contact their long-dead father. With the voices of  Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, John Ratzenberger, Ali Wong and Lena Waithe.

The Photograph: Stella Meghie wrote and directed this film, a romantic drama about the daughter of a celebrated photographer who falls in love with the journalist who is writing about her late mother. With Issa Rae, Lakeith Stanfield, Chelsea Perreti, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Courtney B. Vance.

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ documentary is about the celebrated writer, with contributions from Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Peter Sellars and Walter Mosley, etc.

Vitalina Varela: Pedro Costa’s drama finds a woman from Cape Verde making the journey to Lisbon in order to find her husband who left her thirty years earlier to take up a job as a bricklayer. On arrival, she discovers the truth about her partner... With Vitalina Varela, Ventura, Manuel Tavares Almeida and Francesco Brito.

 

 

March 13:

 

Misbehaviour: The Miss World pageant of 1970 was an event that shifted a number of goal posts. Held in London, it witnessed the birth of the Women’s Liberation Movement as they stormed the stage of the Royal Albert Hall and disrupted the broadcast, claiming that the competition demeaned the fairer sex. Greg Kinnear plays the MC Bob Hope with Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley, Keeley Hawes, Lesley Manville, Rhys Ifans and Phyllis Logan also starring. Philippa Lowthorpe directs.

 

 

March 20:

 

The Truth: The stormy relationship between a mother and her daughter, a legendary French icon and a screenwriter, respectively, comes to a head when the former publishes her autobiography. From Hirokazu Kore-eda, the director of the Palme d’Or-winning Shoplifters. Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke and Ludivine Sagnier star.

Truth, The

 

 

March 27:

 

The Painted Bird: When during the Second World War a young Jewish boy is sent to stay with relatives to avoid anti-Semitism, he finds himself having to fend for himself. Based on the 1965 novel by Jerzy Kosiński, the film is shot in black-and-white and features scenes that many might find upsetting. Václav Marhoul directs.

Peter Rabbit 2: A rough approximation of Beatrix Potter’s beloved bunny is back with more outrageous shenanigans when he, Peter, runs away from home. Will Gluck directs Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson and David Oyelowo, with James Corden supplying the voice of Peter, Elizabeth Debicki as Mopsy Rabbit, Daisy Ridley as Cottontail Rabbit and Margot Robbie as Flopsy Rabbit. Expect lashings of risqué humour. 

Vivarium: When a young couple sets off to find their perfect home, they find themselves trapped in an endless housing estate of identikit buildings. Lorcan Finnegan directs Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris and Danielle Ryan. Filmed in Liege, in Belgium.

 

 

April 2:

 

No Time to Die: Daniel Craig stars as 007, with Léa Seydoux as Madeleine Swann, Christoph Waltz as Blofeld, Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Eve Moneypenny, Ana de Armas as Paloma, Lashana Lynch as Nomi and the Oscar-winning Rami Malek as Safin, a really nasty piece of work. Cary Joji Fukunaga directs from his screenplay written in collaboration with Scott Z. Burns and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, based on an early draft by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

 

 

May 8:

 

Greyhound: Based on the C.S. Forester novel The Good Shepherd, this war film stars Tom Hanks as the commander of an Allied convoy navigating the treacherous waters of the North Atlantic during the Second World War. Elisabeth Shue, Rob Morgan and Stephen Graham also star, under the direction of Aaron Schneider.

Legally Blonde 3: Reese Witherspoon returns as Ellie Woods. With Jessica Cauffiel as Margot and Alanna Ubach as Serena.

 

 

July 17:

 

Tenet: Christopher Nolan's new film is being described as an action-thriller with a time-distorting theme which, of course, is right up his street. The film stars John David Washington, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Robert Pattinson, Himesh Patel, Clémence Poésy, Kenneth Branagh and Michael Caine. Wow.

 

 

August 7:

 

In the Heights: Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning Broadway musical set in the Hispanic neighbourhood of New York's Washington Heights is finally with us. Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins and Leslie Grace (below) and Melissa Barrera take over the lead roles, with John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) in the director's chair. We can't wait.

In the Heights

 

 

September 18:

 

The King's Man: Matthew Vaughn's new action-comedy features Gemma Arterton as Mata Hari (below), Rhys Ifans as Rasputin and Stanley Tucci as Merlin in a time-dancing romp that sees a gang of historical tyrants and criminal masterminds join forces to create dastardly mayhem. A prequel to the Kingsman series, the film also stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Djimon Hounsou and Ralph Fiennes. 

Gemma Arterton

 

Without Remorse: When a Navy Seal seeks to avenge his wife's murder, he finds a major conspirscy is afoot. Based on the 1993 Tom Clancy novel of the same name. Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell and Jodie Turner-Smith top the bill. 


 

 

MICHAEL DARVELL