All the movies worth catching in the capital, from a gripping judicial drama to the latest film by Terrence Malick...
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 showing in London and gathered them here to make choosing a great movie as easy as possible. Whatever you’re in the mood for, WeLoveCinema has you well and truly covered…
This gripping and timely drama stars Michael B. Jordan of Black Panther fame as a young Harvard graduate who sets out to help a man (Jamie Foxx) accused of killing a white woman in 1986 Alabama. It’s based on the work of real life attorney Bryan Stevenson, who offered frequent free legal advice to those he felt had fallen prey to an unjust and racist justice system. Written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, Just Mercy co-stars Brie Larson, Rafe Spall, and Tim Blake Nelson and is, at times, an admittedly workmanlike film. Yet its dedicated cast and overall message help elevate it to greater heights.
A Hidden Life
Terrence Malick has taken a break from navel-gazing relationship dramas about people both beautiful and sad to bring us a three-hour-long epic set during WWII. A Hidden Life marks the divisive filmmaker’s first attempt to grapple with history since his underrated The New World; this time he finds inspiration in the true story of Franz Jägerstätter, an Austrian pacifist who refused to fight for the Nazis. All the Malick trademarks – fish eye lenses, swirling camera movements – are present, but A Hidden Life stands as his most complex and narratively satisfying work in years. A must-see for anyone who feels his recent output has mostly consisted of pretentious drivel.
Bad Boys for Life
We don’t care how optimistic you are: there’s no way anyone – anyone – could have guessed that the third and basically unwanted entry in a franchise nobody has thought about in 17 years would turn out to be the best one yet. Somehow, though, Bad Boys for Life, which stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as two wise-cracking cops based out of Miami, has enough charm, action, and self-awareness to wrestle the title away from the original. Isn’t it nice to Martin Lawrence back on the big screen and being genuinely likeable? Maybe the key to this film’s success was in jettisoning the franchise’s most toxic element, Michael Bay, and replacing him with Belgian filmmaking duo Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallam (Bay is, sadly, back for a cameo).
About as divisive as movies come these days, Bombshell – lauded for its fantastic performances from Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and Margot Robbie but derided for its seemingly surface level approach – zeroes in on the story of the women who set about bringing down Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes after he was accused of sexual harassment. Bombshell is – surprisingly or unsurprisingly, depending on your view – directed by Jay Roach, the guy who brought you Austin Powers, but is worth watching, at the very least, for Theron’s uncanny transformation into news anchor Megyn Kelly.
Weathering with You
Makoto Shinkai, the Japanese genius who gifted us with the endlessly joyful animated masterpiece that is Your Name, is back with another spellbinding film – this time the aptly titled Weathering with You, with its story of a young man, Hodaka, who runs away and falls in love with a girl, Hina, who can control the weather. Essentially a rom-com with lots of sunshine and splashing about, it’s worth watching just for the water effects alone, which appear to have solely driven Shinkai’s desire to make the film. If you’re the kind of person whose perfect day consists of sitting indoors listening to the rain falling outside, this is basically a dream come true.
This gripping documentary, filmed entirely using smartphones, chronicles filmmaker Hassan Fazili and his family’s terrifying and perilous journey out of Afghanistan and across Europe after they’re targeted by the Taliban. Inspiring for its raw intimacy and also remarkable in its depiction of the unbeatable human spirit, Midnight Traveller follows the Fazili clan as they cross through Tajikistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, and finally Hungary, all the while never knowing what’s round the corner – or whether they’ll make it through alive. Powerful, funny, and devastating, it’s an essential doc about the power of hope.
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché
Never heard of Alice Guy-Blaché? You’re not alone. Be Natural, a new documentary about a pioneering filmmaker whose name has basically been lost to history, sets out to fix this common cultural blind-spot. Narrated by Jodie Foster, it tells the mostly unknown story of the experimental French filmmaker, who became the first ever woman to direct a film. Told with insight and affection for both its groundbreaking subject and cinema itself, Be Natural couldn’t feel more timely – especially given the recent snubbing of great female filmmakers by organisations like BAFTA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
War! What is it good for? “Extended takes with no visible cuts,” is what director Sam Mendes might tell you based on his latest film, 1917, a white-knuckle thriller set in the trenches of the Great War, loosely inspired by the stories passed down by his veteran grandfather. The impression of a single, continuous shot frames his film as young soldiers Blake (Dean-Charles Chapman) and Schofield (George MacKay) are tasked with delivering a message deep behind enemy lines that could prevent the loss of more than 1,600 British lives. Roger Deakins’ stunning cinematography and Thomas Newman’s haunting score ensure that 1917 is always nail-biting, even if it ultimately ends up feeling more like a video game. But what a video game!
Following Robert Pattinson crime flick Good Time, Safdie brothers Josh and Benny are back with yet another frenetic and anxiety-inducing caper and arguably the most stressful film ever put to celluloid. Featuring a ludicrously good Adam Sandler as a fast-talking Jewish jeweller looking to score big with the sale of a precious black opal, Uncut Gems unravels as a high-octane escapade of endless noise and unstoppable energy. As Sandler’s Howard Ratner is bashed relentlessly around from place to place, feeding his gambling habit and schmoozing his way out of trouble to the sound of Daniel Lopatin’s trippy score, Gems grounds us in a sleazy New York right out of a 70s thriller. The Safdies tried to get Uncut Gems made for over a decade; to say it’s been worth the wait is a major understatement.
This post was categorised in Archive.