Jenny (Mulligan) in matters of love and life in swinging sixties London. Scherfig here combines romantic drama and the coming- of-age tale to wholly enjoyable effect. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Eyes Wide Open (12A) ●●●●● (Haim Tabakman, Israel/Germany/France, 2009) Zohar Strauss, Ran Danker, Tinkerbell. 96min. See feature, page 42 and review, page 45. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Finding Nemo (U) ●●●●● (Andrew Stanton/Lee Unkrich, US, 2003) Voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe, Brad Garrett, Allison Janney. 100min. Pixar’s latest now that it is free from the umbrella of Disney is the delightful tale of a little fish and his daddy’s attempts to find him when he gets scooped out of the water by a human. Clever, funny and better than The Little Mermaid (just). Brunton Theatre, Edinburgh.
✽✽ Four Lions (15) ●●●●● (Christopher Morris, UK, 2010)
Benedict Cumberbatch, Alex MacQueen, Julia Davis. 101min. Post-9/11 worthiness put aside, Morris hits the right note as he pokes fun at prejudices with some hapless British Muslims who want to blow themselves up as part of a misconstrued notion of Jihad. Selected release. Furry Vengeance (PG) ●●●●● (Roger Kumble, US/United Arab Emirates, 2010) Brendan Fraser, Brooke Shields, Ken Jeong. 91min. A band of angry animals teaches an ambitious real estate developer (Fraser) a lesson when his housing development encroaches on their wilderness habitat in this likeably silly, family comedy with a welcome ecological message. General release. G-Force 2D (PG) ●●●●● (Hoyt Yeatman, UK, 2009) Voices of Bill Nighy, Will Arnett, Kelli Garner. 90min. Jerry Bruckheimer-produced comedy adventure about a covertly trained group of guinea pig special agents who are charged with saving the world from disaster. Simple minded and likeable enough. Vue Ocean, Edinburgh. The Ghost (15) ●●●●● (Roman Polanski, UK, 2010) Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall. 127min. This adaptation by Polanski and Harris of the latter’s ‘what if?’ novel is a wintry Hitchcockian thriller in which McGregor’s everyman figure – an unnamed ghostwriter offered $250 million for four weeks work – becomes embroiled in a conspiracy where nothing is quite what it seems. If this doesn’t register as a major Polanski work, it still demonstrates his ability to create through mise-en-scène a mood of disquieting claustrophobia. General release. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (18) ●●●●● (Niels Arden Oplev, Sweden, 2009) Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Peter Haber. 152min. When investigative journalist Mikhael Blomkvist (Nyqvist) is called upon by an ageing Swedish industrialist to investigate the 40-year-old disappearance of his beloved great niece, his careful investigations get nowhere until a mysterious gothic Pippi Longstocking (Rapace) intervenes. The first of Stieg Laarson’s deservedly successful millennium
The Blind Side The Last (12A) Station (15) Mon 28 Jun Thu 27 May 11:00 11:00 (cuppa), (cuppa), 19:30 19:30 48 THE LIST 13–27 May 2010
thrillers receives a faithful but laborious film treatment. Selected release. Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (PG) ●●●●● (Lasse Hallström, USA/UK, 2009) Richard Gere, Sarah Roemer, Joan Allen. 93min. This maudlin pet-sploitation flick transports the 1920’s Japan story of a faithful dog who waited nearly ten years for his master’s return, to an idyllic Rhode Island setting. Grosvenor, Glasgow. Himalaya (PG) ●●●●● (Eric Valli, France/Switzerland/UK/Nepal, 2000) Thilen Lhondup, Gurgon Kyap, Lhapka Tsamchoe. 104min. In the high mountains of the Himalayas, a village prepares for the annual yak caravan to market. However, the young chieftain has been killed and the old clan head refuses to recognise the hot-headed Karma as his successor. A worthy insight into the lives of a hardy people. The landscape is breathtakingly shot, and the attention to local detail feels authentic. The plot has less going for it, being at heart a fairly hackneyed story of an heir to the throne having to prove he is worthy of the crown. Part of Himalayan film and culture festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Hot Tub Time Machine (15) ●●●●● (Steve Pink, US, 2010) John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson. 99min. Pink (Grosse Point Blank) returns to Cusack and the 80s when a bunch of friends end up in 1986 after a hot tub malfunctions. With little character development and too many comedic opportunities missed, sometimes it’s better to leave the past alone. General release. House Full (12A) (Sajid Khan, India, 2010) Akshay Kumar, Ritesh Deshmukh, Deepika Padukone. 125min. Bollywood romantic comedy about the world’s unluckiest man. Odeon at the Quay, Glasgow. How to Train Your Dragon 2D (PG) ●●●●● (Dean DeBlois/Chris Sanders, US, 2010) Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera. 97min. Commendable new DreamWorks animation set in the mythical world of Vikings and dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell. Hiccup, a Viking teenager, befriends a dragon. Selected release. How to Train Your Dragon 3D (PG) ●●●●● (Dean DeBlois/Chris Sanders, US, 2010) Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera. 97min. See above. Selected release. Howl’s Moving Castle (PG) ●●●●● (Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2005) Voices of Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Billy Crystal. 119min. Miyazaki, the director of Spirited Away returns with a version of Diana Wynne Jones’ children’s book Howl’s Moving Castle. The result is a strange hybrid that starts out as a cheery kids adventure then changes direction halfway through to envisage the hell of a dystopian futureworld ruled by war. Despite Miyazaki’s undoubted gifts for story, character and cute animation, the diverse cultural agendas jar badly. East meets West so awkwardly here. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Hubble 3D (U) (Toni Meyers, Canada, 2010) 44min. Leonardo Di Caprio narrates the latest 3D IMAX space adventure. IMAX Theatre, Glasgow. I Am Love (15) ●●●●● (Luca Guadagnino, Italy, 2009) Tilda Swinton, Flavio Parenti, Edoardo Gabbriellini. 120min. An announcement made at the birthday celebration of an ageing Italian industrialist triggers a series of events that will impact the family’s lives forever in this film of rare formal grace. It is at this party that central protagonist Emma (Swinton) meets Antonio (Gabbriellini), a gifted chef, with whom she begins an illicit love affair which gives rise to new passions, emotions and a desire for liberation. Inspired and accomplished filmmaking with a confident aesthetic. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. In Search of Mozart (U) (Phil Grabsky, UK, 2005) 128min. Produced in association with the world’s leading orchestras, opera houses and musicians, this is a journey through Europe, exploring the myths that surround Mozart. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Invictus (12A) ●●●●● (Clint Eastwood, US, 2009) Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Tony Kgoroge. 133min. Based on a book by
John Carlin, Invictus recounts how Nelson Mandela pulled off the political masterstroke of uniting a racially and economically divided South Africa in support of national rugby team the Springboks, once a symbol of Boer-ish oppression. This has a predictable trajectory but one leavened by minute details about the tedium of governance, ingrained prejudices and a belief that hope will always spring eternal. Cameo, Edinburgh. Iron Man 2 (12A) ●●●●● (Jon Favreau, US, 2010) Robert Downey Jr, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow. 124min. Favreau returns to direct Downey Jr as the man in the metal suit. As expected, the action is big, bold and brash, the first appearance of Rourke in his Whiplash guise at the Monaco Grand Prix is a masterpiece of flying debris and crackling electricity. But it is Downey Jr who steals the show, playing Tony Stark as Bruce Wayne minus the guilt, revelling in his wealth and the public’s adoration of his Iron Man persona. Lovingly made multiplex action fodder with street smarts, it won’t change the world but it’ll keep you giddily entertained for two hours. General release. It’s Complicated (15) ●●●●● (Nancy Meyers, US, 2009) Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwyn, Steve Martin. 118min. Baldwin and Streep play ex-husband and wife who suddenly get the hots for each other after ten years apart, in this farce of revived lust. While Baldwin’s Jake – now married to a much younger model, with a nightmare toddler in tow – jumps at the chance, Streep’s bakery owner Jane is initially appalled at her own behaviour. Uneven but not unfunny. Brunton Theatre, Edinburgh. The Joneses (15) ●●●●● (Derrick Borte , US, 2009) David Duchovny, Demi Moore, Amber Heard. 95min. Clever satire of consumer culture by first time writer/director Borte in which a model suburban family is used as a marketing tool with regrettable results. Borte’s high concept film runs out of steam after a while but it’s fun while it lasts. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow. Just Another Love Story (18) ●●●●● (Ole Bornedal, Denmark, 2007) Anders W Berthelsen, Rebecka Hemse, Nikolaj Lie Kaas. 100min. Bornedal’s tale of confused and adopted identities sees Julia (Hemse) crash into the back of a car driven by the married Jonas (Berthjelsen). When she ends up in a coma and he starts to visit, the partly responsible Jonas may feel guilty but he’s also besotted. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Key Largo (PG) ●●●●● (John Huston, US, 1948) Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Edward G Robinson. 101min. Robinson’s gangster boss and his boys hole up in a hotel in the Florida keys. Bogart’s army officer is already there, along with the hotel owner’s daughter, Bacall. As a storm breaks out the tension rises in Huston’s taut drama. Scotsman Screening Room, Edinburgh. Kick-Ass (15) ●●●●● (Matthew Vaughn, US/UK, 2010) Nicolas Cage, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Moretz. 117min. Big screen adaptation of Mark Millar’s massively popular comic in which a bunch of misfit teens don superhero costumes and get stuck into some stylised vigilante action. Successfully celebrating a teen boys’ idea of ‘cool’, Vaughn has a feeling for characters and story arcs that his Lock, Stock . . . collaborator Guy Ritchie has long since forgotten. Quite frankly, Vaughn kicks ass. Selected release. Kites (tbc) (Anurag Basu, India, 2010) Hrithik Roshan, Barbara Mori, Steven Michael Quezada. 120min. A man left for dead in the Mexican desert keeps himself alive by pursuing the love of a woman. Much talked about Bollywood fusion film. Selected release. The Last Song (PG) ●●●●● (Julie Anne Robinson, US, 2010) Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Bobby Coleman. 107min. Soppy adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ predictable story about malcontent Ronnie (Cyrus), who travels south to stay with absentee father Steve (Kinnear). For Montana die-hards only. General release.
✽✽ Lebanon (15) ●●●●● (Samuel Maoz, Israel/France/Germany, 2009)
Yoav Donat, Itay Tiran, Oshri Cohen. 93min. See feature, page 42 and review, page 44. Glasgow Film Theatre; Cameo, Edinburgh.
✽✽ Letter from an Unknown Woman (U) ●●●●● (Max Ophuls, USA, 1948) Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan, Mady Christians, Art Smith. 87min. New 35mm print of Max Ophuls’ great 1948 romantic tragedy starring Joan Fontaine and Louis Jordan. The best film you will see anywhere this fortnight. Glasgow Film Theatre. Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (12) ●●●●● (Tony Richardson, UK, 1962) Michael Redgrave, Tom Courtenay, Alec McCowen. 114min. Adapted by Alan Sillitoe from his own story, this is a fine example of 60s British cinema in the social realist vein. Courtenay excels as the rebellious youth who is send a boy’s reform school after robbing a bakery and pushes himself to turn his life around. CCA, Glasgow. The Manchurian Candidate (12A) ●●●●● (John Frankenheimer, US, 1962) Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh. 126min. Re-print of this brilliant political satire-cum-thriller in which Harvey plays a Korean war hero who is brainwashed by Communists and becomes a pawn in the sinister mission planned for his homecoming. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Meet Me in St Louis (U) ●●●●● (Vincente Minnelli, US, 1944) Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Mary Astor. 113min. Released during wartime, this 1903-seet musical was an optimistic attempt to emphasise family values, but Minnelli never wallows in nostalgia. Instead he combats it with sparky and sarky family dynamics. The put-upon father wants to move his family from St Louis to New York but faces resistance from his gaggle of girls who have romances to get on with, and the fast-approaching World Fair to enjoy. Perfect casting and performances, along with songs like ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ add to the warm glow. Cineworld Renfrew Street, Glasgow; Cineworld Fountainpark, Edinburgh. Milk of Sorrow (12A) ●●●●● (Claudia Llosa, Spain/Peru, 2009) Magaly Solier, Susi Sanchez, Efrain Solis. 94min. See review, page 43. Glasgow Film Theatre. Mountain Patrol (Kekexili) (15) ●●●●● (Lu Chuan, China/Hong Kong, 2005) Duobuji, Zhang Lei, Qi Liang. 85min. An epic real-life drama about Tibetan volunteers attempting to protect the indigenous antelope from extinction by Chinese poachers. Pitted against treacherous nature, the moral ambiguity of both sides shines through in thrilling action sequences and striking images. Part of Himalayan film and culture festival. Filmhouse, Edinburgh. Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang (U) ●●●●● (Susanna White, US, 2010) Emma Thompson, Ralph Fiennes, Maggie Gyllenhaal. 109min. Sequel to the popular 2005 family film. This time Gyllenhaal is single mum Isabel Green (hubbie is off to fight the Hun in WW2) with three out of control nippers to contend with and two insufferably posh evacuee cousins about to arrive on their farm. General release. Nightcleaners (18) ●●●●● (Berwick Street Film Collective, UK, 1975) 90min. Influenced by Brechtian methods such as montage, this documentary questions the nature of the women’s campaign and its representations. The film challenges the idea that political cinema can ever give a true account of events, and undermines notions of the photographic real. CCA, Glasgow. A Nightmare on Elm Street (18) ●●●●● (Samuel Bayer, US, 2010) Jackie Earle Haley, Katie Cassidy, Kyle Gallner. 95min. The premise is the same in this horror remake, as the razor fingered Freddy Krueger (Haley) comes back to haunt the dreams of Springwood’s teens, with the rather nasty side effect that if he kills you in your sleep you die in real life. Haley is inspired casting and there’s a nice update on