You’re on a barrel roll, on a wild plane ride with a pilot playing fast and loose. American Made is that plane ride, and Tom Cruise is the pilot. That engaging and somewhat reckless Tom Cruise we know from his early film, Risky Business – wide-eyed grin, ever so slightly amoral, and irrepressibly charming. He’s back.
Colin Farrell becomes a troublingly perfect Agamemnon in this new film by Yorgos Lanthimos. The film pushes reality so far and with such patient, systematic determination that it reveals truths that we all somehow know but no longer wish to acknowledge.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer opens grandly. An extended close-up of open-heart surgery, performed to the grave and moving music of one of Schubert’s Stabat Maters. Still looking? Keep looking now and you might still be able to keep on looking later on. The music and sound design will help keep you there, will seduce and hypnotise you.
Joachim Trier’s latest film Thelma, made with his long-term collaborators, writer Eskil Vogt, cinematographer Jakob Ihre and composer Ola Fløttum, marks a new development in the director’s career. His usual powerful existential themes remain, but Thelma represents a departure in other ways, perhaps presaged by Trier’s previous work, Louder than Bombs (2015), which had starred Isabelle Huppert.
In the stillness of a Norwegian winter, a father and child go hunting. They walk across a frozen lake, towards the woods. The child, a little girl, perhaps four years old, stops on the ice and looks down. She can see fish swimming, below the frozen surface, under her feet. What happens next is disquieting, dark, and unexplained. Much later, the full horror becomes clear.
How many MPs would sweetly sing for you? In this affectionate portrait of one of the longest standing English Members of Parliament, Dennis Skinner, we get more than one song from the man now known, courtesy of the Telegraph, as the Beast of Bolsover.
Did I Say Hairdressing? I meant Astrophysics! This gently amusing film from Leeds Animation Workshop has just won the Audience Award at this year’s 5th London Feminist Film Festival.
The audience’s knowing laughter during the screening is a reminder that women have gained only modest ground in STEM careers since the film was made in 1972. At the panel discussion that followed, Chi Onwurah MP – and chartered engineer – commented that after her long career in engineering, Westminster turned out to be the most diverse environment she’d worked in.
Christopher Nolan is adamant that Dunkirk is not a war movie. In an Associated Press interview, he has suggested it is rather a survival film. This is an honest distinction, and easily lost. Cast a gimlet eye over your war movie collection and think again. How easy is it to find, let alone pick, the top five war films?