Wednesday, 13 July 2016

July 14th  - this week:  
Sing Street
Our Kind of Traitor
Maggie's Plan 
Gold Coast (one more from the Scandi Film Fest)

This week again brings a wonderful variety of top-notch viewing - a thriller, a New York wry comedy, a Danish historical drama, and an Irish film about music guaranteed to make you smile throughout and for hours afterwards. 

Sing Street
Director:John Carney
Length: 106 mins

© FilmNation -  Roadshow
If you loved Once or Begin Again, you'll go wild for Sing Street. Based upon the director's adolescence in Dublin, the story follows Conor, (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) a private school kid who's forced to go to a rough local school. His folks are on the brink of divorce, he's bullied at the new school so he escapes his troubles by setting up a band. He and his pals, including the gorgeous Raphina (upon whom he has a big crush), make music videos, write their own songs, and discover their talent and their individuality
This joyous film put a smile on my face from the outset. It's an uplifting celebration of the optimism of youth, first love, cheesy 80s fashion, and of course the power of music and creativity. The kids are all a delight, the soundtrack is magnificent, and I simply loved it!
4.5 - Wholeheartedly recommended!
For a full review from Bernard Hemingway:

Our Kind of Traitor
Director: Susanna White
Length: 107 mins
© StudioCanal - Stellan S. gives a stand-out performance
Mild-mannered poetry professor Perry (Ewan McGregor) is on holiday in Marrrakesh with his wife Gail (Naomie Harris). There they meet Dima, (Stellan Skarsgaard) a flamboyant Russian who asks Perry to take a memory stick back to the UK and hand it over to MI 6. Why on earth naive travellers would agree to do such a dangerous (stupid?) thing is beyond me, but the fact that Perry does makes for a solidly thrilling film! Based on a John le Carre novel, it's a well-acted nail-biter, with fabulous visual settings (Morocco, French Alps, Switzerland and more), and a plot that has resonance for today's global world where politics (often dirty) and finance seem inextricably intertwined.  A better-than-average thriller (namely, I could follow it!), this makes for an exciting cinema visit. 

3.5 - Recommended!
For my full review:

Maggie's Plan
Director:Rebecca Miller
Length: 98 mins

Maggie (Greta Gerwig) is planning to be a single mum (using donor sperm from her friend Guy) when she falls for married man John (Ethan Hawke), their affair ending John's marriage to Georgette (Julieanne Moore). Three years and one kid later Maggie is somewhat disillusioned and devises another plan to get John and Georgette back together. This is a witty script, reminiscent of some of Woody Allen's films, with pseudo-intellectuals rabbiting on about unintelligible stuff, and everyone trying to be uber-cool in a New York kinda way. There are plenty of wry laughs, and a lot of digs at self-absorbed men, control freak women and the pitfalls of marriages between the two types. Moore, Gerwig and Hawke are all excellent in their roles in this ultimately light-weight but very entertaining story.
3.5 - Recommended!
For a full review from Chris Thompson:

Gold Coast
(One more from the Scandinavian Film Festival)
Maybe I left the best till last! This award-winning historical drama tells of Denmark's involvement in the 1800s in setting up coffee plantations on the Ghanaian coast of Africa. Young botanist Wulff works closely with the natives, but soon becomes aware that the level of exploitation by the ruling Danes of the locals is horrific. Gold Coast is a disturbing and richly textured film about a brave man's idealistic fight against colonialism. It is stunningly shot, excellently acted and all complemented by a magnificent score by Angelo Badalamenti.
Your chance to catch it:
Palace Westgarth: July 19 - 6.30 pm
Palace Brighton Bay: July 25 - 6.30 pm 

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