Actor John Carroll Lynch makes a terrific directorial debut with this heart-warming film which is also a fine tribute to Harry Dean Stanton’s illustrious career. He plays Lucky, a solitary but utterly independent 90-year-old who lives in a small Arizona town. Most of his contemporaries are now dead but Lucky still has time to see friends and acquaintances at his local diner as well as bar which he often frequents.
This gentle story is told with dignity and grace and it is not a huge surprise that in the first half hour it brings to mind David Lynch’s beautiful film THE STRAIGHT STORY. And soon after David Lynch also appears as Howard, one of the bars regulars. But the film belongs to the unique presence of Harry Dean Stanton as this US Navy veteran stuck in his old ways and routines. His health is failing but his doctor (Ed Begley Jr) advises him not to stop smoking because that will kill him.
Elvis Kuehn’s original score compliments perfectly the action matching the tone and pace of the story. John Carroll Lynch’s fluid and assured direction brings to the screen a touching and curiously uplifting story blessed with a pitched perfect performance by the late Harry Dean Stanton in one of his last and probably best performances since PARIS, TEXAS.
Chloe Zhao’s remarkable film is an instant classic! It is a lyrical piece of filmmaking which benefits tremendously from Brady Jandeau’s luminous presence. He plays a young cowboy called Brady whose promising career as a rodeo star is put on hold following a tragic riding accident where a horse crushed his skull which put him in a three day coma. He is now frustrated that he is unable to do what he loves and spends most of his time with his little sister Lily on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation or by visiting an old rodeo friend in hospital who is in a much worse condition following his devastating accident. But Brady is determined to overcome his obstacles and start a new life…
It is an inspirational story superbly photographed and acted by a mostly non-professional cast. This unmissable love poem to the West marks Chloe Zhao as one of the most exciting talents to emerge in contemporary American cinema in recent years!
CRAZY RICH ASIANS
This is one of the most enjoyable feel good comedies since probably MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING. It is based on the popular bestseller which tells the story of Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an American Chinese who travels to Singapore for her boyfriend Nick’s (Henry Golding) best friend’s wedding. Things go well until she discovers that Nick’s family is one of the richest on the planet…
It is a terrific film which undoubtedly will give pleasure to many but most importantly it is a major achievement for having an entire Chinese cast – a real rarity in Hollywood these days. Hopefully the immense success of this Cinderella story will open doors for more ethnic minorities’ stories.
It is stylish with superb production values and very much worth seeing!
KING OF THIEVES
This entertaining heist movie may have the feeling of déjà vu but it works thanks to the solid British cast who clearly relish working together.
It tells the true story of a group of retired crooks who against the odds manage to pull off a major heist in Holborn’s jewellery district. Michael Caine is the King of the group in a role he had played so often before that he appears to be sleepwalking through his scenes. His first appearance is the strongest where he has dinner with his lovely wife (Francesca Annis) just before her untimely death that prompts him back to crime.
James Marsh began his career in documentaries (MAN ON WIRE & PROJECT NIM) and uses these skills to good effect here.
Anne Fontaine’s sensitive film tells the story of Marvin Bijou both as a boy and then as a young adult (Finnegan Oldfield) after he manages to escape from the claustrophobic upbringing with a volatile father and an indifferent mother in a small country village. He is now free to explore his own life and heads for Paris ready to fulfil his dreams…
The action is sharply edited with intriguing flashbacks with Marvin a boy at school when he first discovers his own sexuality as well as his love and passion for the theatre.
It is a compelling and deeply touching film superbly played by Finnegan Oldfield as the eponymous hero.
This remake of the seventies Blaxploitation thriller is slick and stylish but unfortunately no one gives a “superfly” about the violent nature of its characters. Priest (Trevor Jackson) is an enthusiastic but inexperienced coke dealer in Atlanta full of bravado. He has many enemies and his ambitions to expand his little empire lead him to Mexico…
Director X comes from a music video background and unsurprisingly his debut feature boasts strong production values with lots of gloss and glitter. However, the repetitive nature of the endlessly violent set pieces becomes tiresome by the end.
This lame horror comes from THE CONJURING universe which also sprung the ANNABELLE franchise. The Nun was first introduced in THE CONJURING 2 – the time is the mid-fifties and the Vatican is deeply concerned following a nun’s suicide in an abbey in Romania. A priest (Damian Bichir) and a young novice (Taissa Farmiga) are sent to investigate…
The story is not dissimilar to those Hammer movies of the sixties but with much more impressive production values. However, the premise is not entirely persuasive despite the actors’ valiant efforts. Overall the film lacks tension and suspense.An intriguing premise but curiously it is difficult to care much about the characters in . 00 STREETS is a gritty, contemporary and poignant portrayal of modern city life, a multi-stranded story set within a square mile of London as the lives of its inhabitants crash and collide. Jim O’Hanlon directs from a script by Leon Butler, and also features rising star Franz Drameh (Attack The Block), Tom Cullen (Weekend, Downton Abbey) and Ken Stott (Café Society, The Hobbit) and Charlie Creed-Miles (Harry Brown, Wild Bill. Premiering at the Los Angeles International Film Festival this year, 100 STREETS garnered huge word of mouth praise and comparisons to the ensemble hits ‘Crash’ and ‘Amores Perros’ in its revealing portrayal of modern urban life in the destination capital of the world.