FILM OF THE WEEK
Garth Davis, the acclaimed Australian filmmaker of LION and MARY MAGDALENE, brings to the screen Iain Reid’s futuristic novel, which was recently premiered at the London Film Festival. The story follows Hen (Saoirse Ronan) and Junior (Paul Mescal), a married couple living on a secluded farm in the not-too-distant future. Their serene lifestyle is suddenly interrupted when Terrance (Aaron Pierre), a mysterious stranger arrives one day on a helicopter. His arrival is totally unexpected and his weird proposal even more puzzling to the young couple…
It is an intriguing premise which soon develops into something even deeper and more obscure that manages to keep the suspense going until the final credits. Notorious scene stealer Saoirse Ronan, well known from ATONEMENT, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and LITTLE WOMEN, has finally met her match in the ubiquitous Paul Mescal, whose meteoric rise to fame continues since his breakthrough performance in BBC’s NORMAL PEOPLE and last year’s AFTERSUN.
Aaron Pierre fresh from the recent BROTHER offers great support as the enigmatic stranger but it is the moody cinematography by Matyas Erdely that manages to capture the spirit of the piece most effectively, like he did in Laszlo Nemes’ magnificent Hungarian films SON OF PAUL and SUNSET.
It an impressive piece of filmmaking that will stay long in the memory and it boasts outstanding performances but curiously it fails to move.
20,000 SPECIES OF BEES
Another highlight from the recent London Film Festival is Estibaliz Urresola’s remarkable directorial debut, which follows the story of an eight year old’s self-discovery during a summer’s holiday.
Sofia Otero won the Silver Lion for Best Leading Performance at the 2022 Berlin Film Festival for her sensitive portrayal of a confused, yet curious child, regarding her gender and future role in society. The child is called Coco and begins to ask all these questions after her mother Ane (Patricia Lopez Arnaiz) takes the children back to her hometown in the Basque Country. The inquisitive child spends a lot of time there with her great aunt, the village beekeeper…
It is a tremendous, graceful film that works brilliantly thanks to Otero’s mature performance which is destined to be a major competitor in the forthcoming awards season.
TROLLS THE BAND TOGETHER
Here is another phantasmagorical adventure from the lovable team that will give a lot of pleasure especially to younger children. It is the third in this popular musical franchise which follows once again the story of Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and Branch (Justin Timberlake) – still fancying one another and getting even closer than ever before. Soon after Branch surprisingly reveals that he was part of a Poppy’s favourite boyband Brozone, along with his four brothers…
Walt Dohrn along with Tim Heitz return as directors and repeat successfully the winning formula of the previous films. It is colourful and fun and is perfectly complimented by Theodore Shapiro’s energetic score, which also includes old classics from the eighties like the title song from ‘Fame’ and Eurhythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This.’
Good family entertainment!
THE PIGEON TUNNEL
The distinguished Errol Morris focuses on another compelling story that was also screened at the recent London Film Festival. He follows the life and career of David Cornwell, the former British spy, who later on borrowed the pen name of John le Carre and became one of the most compelling espionage writers of them all. His remarkable work which includes such novels as THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY and THE CONSTANT GARDENER, were successfully adapted for the screen.
The man himself talks openly to Morris about his life especially about his childhood which had a major effect on his writing, while his subsequent work as an MI6 spy gave him a great insight on the world of espionage, betrayal and that of double agents.
This tremendous film is a fine tribute to the brilliant writer who sadly died soon after filming had ended.
This American animated television series, created by Craig Silverstein, is a treat for sci-fi aficionados. The eight-part series is based on the short stories by Ken Liu and its complex plot follows Maddie (Katie Chang), a bullied teenager who receives help online from Caspian (Paul Dano), another lonely teenager and a maths genius.
Meanwhile, also in the first episode, Chanda (Raza Jaffrey), a computer engineer meets with a rival tech giant…
Every episode – of this first season – introduces new characters and its labyrinthine plot becomes even more obscure as it develops but there is no denying that its imaginative set ups will keep its plethora of followers demanding more. (AMC+)
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