Starring Nicole Kidman, Alec Baldwin, Anne Bancroft and Bill Pullman and written by Aaron Sorkin, this oh-so-90s thriller has so many twists and turns it's practically a pretzel. Can't say much more for fear of spoilers, but I will tell you there's a college Dean, his adoring wife, a doctor with a God complex, a creepy neighbour boy, a 20-year-old Gwyneth Paltrow, a hypodermic needle, and a serial rapist. Oh baby, you better believe you're intrigued! And
it's suitable for the tweenagers in the house and above.
'THE DEER HUNTER'
Hardly a hidden gem, but if you're one of those people who are dissuaded by a three-hour runtime, then now is the opportunity to get onboard. It's not like you have anything else to do. This is a slow movie, make no mistake about it, with a wedding scene that runs for about an hour. You start to wonder if they forgot they could edit footage, but the way director Michael Cimino builds his characters and tension is genuinely brilliant. 'The Deer Hunter' uses the lives of ordinary working men as a lens to critique the Vietnam War with themes of friendship and suffering. It's not a perfect film, but when Mike (Robert De Niro) and Nick (Christopher Walken) play Russian roulette as American POWs, it is one of the greatest scenes in film history. Also, it has one of the best scores of all time, Stanley Myer's 'Cavatina'. Don't @ me. What audiences might see as meaningless and drawn-out introductions proves to be a masterclass in structuring character, all coming together for one of the great epic war dramas.
CHRIS DOS SANTOS
Reuniting an iconic film paring, especially one as big as Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, can often seem cash-grabby and turn into a bad, bland film. Sam Mendes' 'Revolutionary Road' is actually an extremely heartbreaking look at the downfall of a marriage, and a hard-hitting drama. The film has a beautiful tragedy to it, perfectly aided by Roger Deakins' cinematography. Take it as a more dramatic 'Marriage Story'
, but in the 40s. It also proves how talented Winslet and DiCaprio are with a more dense script than 'Titanic'; it's a good example of their true power.
I read the book back in 2015 and was less inclined to watch the movie, for fear that a perfect story might be sabotaged. The reliable truth of "read the book first; it's way better" was soiled upon my first watch of David Fincher's 'Gone Girl.' The casting is superb, the execution of plot is marvellous, and its honest portrayal as a film in tandem with its literary counterpart - magnificent! This film is thrilling, fun and unpredictable. It's masterful in its display of chaos and psychological playmaking - making us love characters and doubt them within 15 minutes. The script is intelligently written, its story twisted and it boasts multiplicity in its characterisation of women. It's a jam-packed plot: girl gone missing, sex, betrayal, lies and justice - or maybe lack of? Enjoy the bumps and twists!READ OUR REVIEW
'YOU CAN COUNT ON ME'
The first film directed by Kenneth Lonergan ('Manchester By The Sea'
) blends comedy and drama to examine the relationship between adult siblings who, years after their parents' deaths, have pursued different paths. One, Sammy (Laura Linney), has become a bank employee, still lives in the Catskills house in which she grew up and protectively raises her son, Rudy (Rory Culkin), alone. The other, Terry (Mark Ruffalo in his breakout role), has become a drifter who reluctantly travels back to his small hometown after running out of money. I love the performances of the cast (which includes Matthew Broderick) even though the characters that they play border on unlikeable. I kept cringing at how the little kid was caught between these two flawed people - Terry is terribly immature and unintentionally cruel to his nephew, while Sammy seems nice enough at first until her attitude becomes unreasonable. Lonergan doesn't judge his characters for their failings but, rather, provides them with enough space to reveal themselves as the imperfect but fundamentally good people that they are. Rarely do movies treat sibling or adult relationships with this much sensitivity and complexity. It's hard to get people to pick up 'You Can Count On Me', because any summary of it makes it sound kind of boring... but it really isn't.
If the 'Black Widow' delay has left you desperate for another Florence Pugh fix, look no further than 'Lady Macbeth'. While this drama has nothing to do with the Shakespeare play, the titular Lady (player by Pugh) shares a similar insatiable and deadly ambition after finding an opportunity to leave her abusive and miserable marriage. Clocking in an under 90 minutes, 'Lady Macbeth' is a perfectly placed drama that is as cruel as it is powerful.READ OUR REVIEW
'THE RED SHOES'
A film about ballet from the late 1940s might not sound like your idea of entertainment, but do not underestimate 'The Red Shoes'. Not only is it one of the most beautiful films ever made, but also one of the most devastating portraits of what it is to be an artist ever captured on screen. It exists in the unresolvable tension between commitment to artistic expression and the need for human connection, and hidden within its rich colours and sweeping melodrama is an undercurrent of madness and emotional violence. And at the heart of the film is its crowning achievement: a ballet sequence so jaw-dropping, the shockwaves still echoes through cinema today. 'The Red Shoes' is simply one of the greatest films ever made. You'll leave it with bruises.
CHARLIE DAVID PAGE
'SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN'
This unassuming underdog really caught me by surprise when it first hit cinemas. Ewan McGregor plays fisheries scientist Dr Alfred Jones, who's succonded by by Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) to achieve an impossible dream for a wealthy sheik: to bring fly-fishing to the middle of the desert in the Middle East. The ludicrous premise results in a feel-good flick that melds drama with romantic comedy and international relations (but don't worry, in a very digestible way). If that's not enough to convince you, it also stars Kristin Scott Thomas, who's wonderful to watch in anything.READ OUR REVIEW
Showing that Margo Robbie as a true talent, 'I, Tonya' is one of the freshest takes on a biopic we've had in years. It's funny and shocking and the story is incredible - who doesn't want to know the drama behind the glitz of the professional figure skating world. Oh, and Allison Janney is a phenomenon!READ OUR REVIEW
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