When films are described and discussed, we have a tendency to pigeonhole them into categories, grouping those of similar style or genre together. Every now and then, projects come along that are so refreshingly original that it proves to be more challenging to pin them down in this way, and that is definitely the case with Get Out. Written and directed by actor-turned-filmmaker Jordan Peele, the story centres around Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African-American man who is invited by his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) to spend the weekend at her parent’s house. Despite his reservations that he may be treated differently because of the colour of his skin, he arrives at the suburban country home of surgeon Dean (Bradley Whitford) and psychiatrist Missy (Catherine Keener), where he is introduced to their black servants.
We’ve come to expect the unexpected from the eclectic films of indie filmmaker Ben Wheatley, as his rule-defying style can twist and mould genre conventions to fit his dark directorial visions. His latest project, which he co-wrote with his wife Amy Jump, is 70s crime caper Free Fire. The action unfolds over just one night in a derelict umbrella warehouse in Boston, Massachusetts. When business associates Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley) team up with facilitator Justine (Brie Larson) for a dodgy deal with Vernon (Sharlto Copley), Ord (Armie Hammer) and their squad of gun-runners, the tension is palpable. Not even so-called allies fully trust one another, let alone enemies so when an argument breaks out, a brutal shoot-out ensues.
William Oldroyd’s creative background lies in the theatre, and in what is just his second film as director, he takes on the challenge of adapting Nikolai Leskov’s novella Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District into a British period drama. Simply shortening the title to Lady Macbeth, the plot follows young bride Katherine (Florence Pugh) who is forced into a loveless, violent marriage with Alexander (Paul Hilton). Trapped in the huge house she was bought with, she rebels against her wicked father-in-law Boris (Christopher Fairbank) and his rules when she embarks on a passionate affair with stable-boy Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis), and goes to great lengths to escape the existence that has befallen her.