Opening This Week
The directorial debut of Jerusha Hess, best known as one of the minds behind indie darling Napoleon Dynamite, sees a recently single 30-something woman consumed by the Pride and Prejudice ideal stay at a Jane Austen-themed resort in the hopes of meeting her real-life Mr. Darcy. If you weren’t charmed by Napoleon Dynamite’s quirky sensibilities and sardonic humour, Austenland appears to explore a more accessible type of humour. Unfortunately, the initial feedback is not too positive and even the hugely talented lead, Keri Russell, hasn’t been impressing critics. Austen devotees will be more appreciative of the parallels and references to the source material. Everyone else should check out the trailer before deciding.
Austenland opens tomorrow at Broadway Cinema.
There’s been a lot of positive buzz surrounding Woody Allen’s latest release, which opened in the US last month. Cate Blanchett stars as an insipid New York socialite who’s forced to reconnect with her middle-class sister after going broke. Allen certainly isn’t treading any new ground, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, nuanced character pieces are where he excels. Names such as Louis C.K., Alec Baldwin, Michael Stuhlbarg and Sally Hawkins as the sister round out an impressive supporting cast. For Allen fans, this is a must see. For the uninitiated, it promises to be a superb introduction to one of the most respected writer/directors working today.
Blue Jasmine opens tomorrow at Broadway Cinema.
Girl Most Likely
Kristen Wiig leads the cast as a failed playwright unwillingly returning back home to live with her estranged mother and eccentric relatives after a fake suicide attempt. I can assure you, Girl Most Likely is not as gloomy as the premise suggests, the humour looks to be more in line with that of Bridesmaids than say, Funny People. Unfortunately, critics haven’t been kind; an overload of quirkiness and the squandering of Wiig’s talent are recurring complaints.
Girl Most Likely opens in wide release tomorrow.
Hugh Jackman stars as a father driven to take matters into his own hands after his daughter is kidnapped, Jake Gyllenhaal co-stars as the detective assigned to the case. The US debut of director Denis Villeneuve, who has garnered a solid reputation in his native Canada with dramas Polytechnique and Incendies. Prisoners looks to be a highly emotional, gritty and disturbing thriller with great performances from the entire cast. It’s unlikely to transcend the genre, but it’s undoubtedly one to take a look at.
Prisoners opens tomorrow at Savoy Cinema.
When a student (Justin Timberlake) is cheated out of his tuition money in a game of online poker, he tracks down the site’s corrupt owner (Ben Affleck) to a remote island and goes to confront him. All eyes will be on Affleck following this summers rather unexpected reveal, but I don’t think this performance will convert any skeptics. The trailer doesn’t inspire much confidence, it certainly looks stylish, but little else. I do hope to be proven wrong, director Brad Furman has two well-respected features under his belt, The Take and The Lincoln Lawyer, so there’s a good chance I might be.
Runner, Runner opens tomorrow at Savoy Cinema.
Clubs, Societies & One-Offs
A matinee screening of the musical comedy about two kids who throw a dance show to save their struggling youth centre. If you like the idea of precocious pre-teens acting like adults then this is the movie for you. Of course, it’s aimed solely at a younger audience so I shouldn’t judge too harshly.
All Stars is screening September 28th at 12:45 at Broadway Cinema.
Amélie presented by Dark Celluloid
For their first screening of the year, Nottingham University’s ‘alternative’ cinema society presents Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s whimsical romantic comedy, Amélie. Audrey Tautou stars as a quirky Parisian girl who strives to track down the owner of a box of childhood memorabilia she discovers in her bathroom. Arguably the most recognisable foreign film of all time, Amélie is filled with kooky, unique characters and iconic images.
Amélie is screening free for UoN students on September 29th at 7pm in Portland C11.
A personal favourite of mine, George Lucas’ 1973 nostalgic portrait of teenage life in the early 60’s was a huge box-office hit. Told in a series of vignettes, American Graffiti depicts the highs and lows of one eventful evening in Modesto, California. A fascinating ode to a simpler time, filled with all the cars and music that bring the era to life.
American Graffiti is screening September 29th at 14:00 at Broadway Cinema.
The Fly present by Kino Klubb
Kino Klubb presents David Cronenberg’s 1986 twisted, body horror classic The Fly. After a teleportation experience goes wrong, eccentric scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) slowly transforms into a human/fly hybrid, all the while trying to maintain his relationship with journalist Veronica (Geena Davis). The Fly is a masterclass in practical effects, with enough gore and violence to satisfy even the most seasoned horror fan. This one is certainly not for the squeamish.
The Fly is screening free this September 27th at 22:30 at Broadway Cinema.
The Place Beyond the Pines presented by Silver Screen
Following their screenings of Star Trek: Into Darkness and Iron Man 3, Silver Screen takes a dramatic change of pace, presenting Derek Cianfrance’s acclaimed 2012 crime-drama The Place Beyond the Pines. Ryan Gosling stars as a stunt rider turned bank robber whose actions significantly alter the lives of his loved ones and an ambitious rookie cop (Bradley Cooper). While the description may sound straight-forward, The Place Beyond the Pines is anything but, it’s comprised of three distinct yet equally important acts which spans the course of 15 years. If you missed it in cinemas, you owe it to yourself to catch it here.
The Place Beyond the Pines is screening October 3rd at 7.30pm in the Hallward Screening Room.