Sunday, 9 July 2017

July 9th 2017

Monsieur Chocolat
It Comes at Night

After last week's period pieces starring strong women, this week's films feature two impressive men. They are such dramatically differing genres, one or other (or both) should please you. 

Monsieur Chocolat
Director: Roschdy Zem
Length: 119 min
© Transmission - Omar Sy exudes charisma in this moving
true story of a circus clown with ambition
The trailer to this film makes it look like a feel-good circus clown period piece, but Mnsr Choc is much more. It's the true story of ex-slave Raphael Padilla, (Omar Sy) who, in the late 1800s joins a provincial French circus, where he plays a "savage". Already famous clown Georges Footit (James Thieree) suggests the radical idea that he and Chocolat (as Raphael becomes known) form a clowning duo, in which the black guy always gets the rough end of the stick from the white guy! The pair rapidly become the toast of Paris, but soon Chocolat wants to be more than the butt-end of Footit's jokes. With serious themes of racism, thwarted ambition, love, and self-destruction, this story is still relevant in a world where people of color often have fewer opportunities than whites. Performances are terrific, and, although the story-telling is fairly traditional, it's a most worthwhile and entertaining film.     
3.5 - recommended! 

It Comes at Night
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Length: 91 min
© Roadshow - truly scary mix of post-apocalyptic
psychological thriller and (almost) horror
Imagine a world decimated by some modern form of plague. A family has survived: Paul (Joel Edgerton), his wife Sarah and 17-year-old son Travis are holed up in a cabin in the woods, never going out without gas masks, and never at night. One day a stranger turns up. Paul immediately takes him captive, but finally relents allowing Will, his wife Kim and their 4-year-old son Andrew to come live with them. They seem in good health, and they bring much-needed resources. I shall say no more plot-wise. Suffice to say this is not simply about the scariness of whatever is out there, but the psychology of fear, trust, authority, and deception. There are many layers of subtlety as regards the interactions of all the characters, and the tension is relentless. There is little in the way of backstory, but as a pressure-cooker claustrophobic genre film about a nightmarish situation, this one works very well.  Edgerton, who was so fine recently in Loving, is equally in command of his family, and his performance, here. 
4 - highly recommended (if you can stand the stress!)

No comments:

Post a Comment