All the movies worth catching in the capital, from the return of Britain's best satirist to Timothée Chalamet with a bowl cut...
Out and about this week? Fancy a film but can’t make your mind up what to see? Look no further: we’ve assembled the best of what’s on in London and gathered them here to make choosing a great movie as easy as possible. Whether it’s another animated film about a yeti or a film that finally gives Sienna Miller something to do other than play “wife” or “girlfriend,” WeLoveCinema has you well and truly covered…
The Day Shall Come
Arguably Britain’s greatest satirist, Chris Morris – the genius behind TV’s Brass Eye and the brilliant Four Lions – is back with his first feature film in nine years, one he claims is “based on a hundred true stories.” This time, Morris sets his sights on a story about an eccentric preacher whose terrorist schemes are funded by the FBI. Whilst the satire in The Day Shall Come seems more familiar than what we’re used to for a man of Morris’ ilk, this is still a welcomed return for a great writer-director, featuring fab performances from Marchánt Davis as the aforementioned eccentric preacher, and Anna Kendrick as a plucky FBI agent. It’s a film that’s over fairly quickly, and yet – espresso-like – it still manages to deliver a sharp hit to the system.
Following this year’s Smallfoot and Missing Link, here is yet another in a seemingly endless line of animated films about yetis who aren’t anywhere near as terrifying as they look. A collaboration between DreamWorks and China’s Pearl Studio, Abominable zeroes in on Chinese orphan Yi (voiced by Chloe Bennet) as she attempts to help a yeti named Everest find his home. No, there isn’t much that separates Abominable from the animated movie canon at large, but it’s still a very pleasing, family-appropriate adventure that has made history in the process: it’s the first animated movie directed by a woman that also features a female character in the lead role. If that’s not worth the price of a ticket, what is?
Get Abominable showtimes in London.
Dolemite Is My Name
It’s always great when Eddie Murphy turns up in a film that’s actually good, and Dolemite Is My Name is one such film. Playing ’60s comedian and singer Rudy Ray Moore, a man who prevented his own career death after inventing an alter-ego named “Dolemite,” a garish, larger-than-life pimp, Murphy gives his best performances since… well, for a long, long time. Directed by Craig Brewer and written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, My Name Is Dolemite is a frequently funny and relentlessly entertaining comedy that serves to remind us just how magnetic Murphy can be when he’s in the right mood. It’s a comeback film about a comeback, and what could be better than that?
Get Dolemite Is My Name showtimes in London.
One of the year’s most anticipated films is a hybrid between the bloody, muddy battles of Game of Thrones and Shakespeare’s classic Henry V plays. After the death of his despotic brother, Timothée Chalamet – our boy wonder with a bowl cut – gives a charismatic, layered performance as Henry – “Hal” – the fifth, whilst Joel Edgerton, Ben Mendelsohn, and Lily-Rose Depp round out the cast. Directed by David Michôd (Animal Kingdom), The King is an occasionally slow-paced but powerful historical epic – though perhaps its most interesting element lies in Robert Pattinson, who turns up briefly as the Dauphin of France and unleashes a heavily-accented performance that’s certain to divide all those who lay eyes on it.
Get The King showtimes in London.
After years and years of playing sexy girlfriends and beautiful wives, former ‘It” girl Sienna Miller finally lands the role she deserves in this gritty, twisty slice of Americana, courtesy of director Jake Scott (son of Sir Ridley Scott). American Woman tells the seemingly simple story of a working-class mother, played by Miller, whose life takes an unexpected turn when her daughter suddenly goes missing and she’s left to take care of her grandchild. Scott crafts a believable, lived-in world, whilst Miller delivers a fascinating and nuanced performance that’s sure to land her better, more complex parts in the future. There are good supporting turns, too, from Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul, and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks.
Get American Woman showtimes in London.
Renée Zellweger delivers arguably her best ever screen performance in this highly watchable drama based on the last years of screen legend Judy Garland. Spanning multiple timelines and co-starring Jessie Buckley and Michael Gambon, it zeroes in on Garland – addicted to drugs, drink, and on her fourth husband – as she relocates to London for a five-week-long sell-out show. Judy is a film that peels back the Hollywood glamour to tell a story of a woman whose life was ultimately ruined by the pressures of stardom. Zellweger is transformed here, giving a performance so raw, fragile, and broken that you quickly forget you’re not watching the real deal. Though the film itself is far more conventional, it’s worth seeing for Zellweger’s extraordinary, award-worthy turn.
Nobody could have guessed that audiences and critics alike would go to war over the murky morals of Todd Phillips’ supervillain origin, Joker – it’s one of the most controversial and divisive movie in years. The question remains: is this a masterpiece or a shallow inditement of our times? The story concerns one Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix), a failed comedian whose contempt with the world at large transforms him into the iconic Batman villain of the title. Channeling the vibes of Scorsese classics like Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, Phoenix fully commits in an undeniably impressive performance. No matter how you look at it, there’s so much to unpack here – culturally, ethically, cinematically. See it and make up your own mind.
The Last Tree
Writer-director Shola Amoo’s semi-autobiographical sophomore feature hones in on the life of a Nigerian-British foster child named Femi, played by Tai Golding as a child, and by Sam Adewunmi as an adult, whose life takes a sudden turn when he has no choice but to uproot from his idllic home in the Lincolnshire countryside to inner city London. It’s a switch that transforms him completely – and onto a less fortunate path filled with crime. Amoo’s film is a sad yet heart-warming story that asks questions about how the past and the places we live come to shape us into who we are. Adewunmi is excellent in a breakout role.
Get The Last Tree showtimes in London.
Ready or Not
It’s hard to argue with the delicious set-up that powers this relentlessly entertaining horror-comedy, in which a newlywed (Samara Weaving) must enter into a murderous game of hide and seek with her husband’s parents in order to join the family. It’s silly, of course, but that’s part of the fun – Ready or Not wears it tongue firmly in its cheek, as Weaving’s unsuspecting Grace learns of the traditions of a clan whose wealth has been accumulated selling board games. Funny and gory in equal measure, Ready or Not also works as a rallying cry against the super rich, and gives us a great new Scream Queen in Weaving.
Get Ready or Not showtimes in London.
It’s impossible to imagine what trying to live your every day life in the midst of a war zone is actually like; this riveting documentary is about as close as most of us will get. Recorded using a handheld camera during the Siege of Aleppo in war-torn Syria, For Sama hones in on a student-turned-filmmaker named Waad al-Kateab (who shot the footage), her husband, and daughter, Sama, as they attempt to survive five years within the city walls. The footage was later assembled with help from co-director Edward Watts, and the results are terrifying and brutal, but ultimately life-affirming. Surviving a war zone is one thing; raising a baby as bombs are dropping around you is another. If you only catch one doc this year, let it be this one: more than deservedly, it won the Prix L’Œil d’Or at Cannes in May.
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