When filmmakers possess a signature style that can be identified across their body of work, they are sometimes referred to as an auteur of cinema. It’s a term that might get banded around too frequently, but one that is often used when discussing Icelandic visionary Baltasar Kormákur. His latest feature is crime thriller The Oath, a personal project which he amazingly produces, directs, co-writes and stars in. The story follows family man heart surgeon Finnur (Kormákur) who tries to rescue his daughter Anna (Hera Hilmar) from her thuggish boyfriend Óttar (Gísli Örn Garðarsson) when she becomes entangled in his dangerous, criminal lifestyle.
Cary Grant is very fondly remembered as a Hollywood icon but documentary filmmaker Mark Kidel scrapes away the Hollywood glitz and gloss to explore the man behind the movie star in Becoming Cary Grant. Adapted from an unpublished autobiography, we hear Grant’s fascinating story in his own words, with actor Jonathan Pryce reading excerpts to provide an enjoyable voice-over.
Chris Baugh writes and directs his feature debut Bad Day for the Cut, a revenge thriller set in Northern Ireland. The plot follows middle-aged farmer Donal (Nigel O’Neill) who lives a quiet, unadventurous life with his mother Florence (Stella McCusker), spending his days working and his evenings supping real ale down the pub. One night, their home is broken into and his mother is brutally murdered. Donal spots one of the assailants getting away whom he refers to as ‘a fancy looking sorta boy’ and after a couple of thugs return a few days later to kill him too, he is forced to take matters into her own hands to avenge her death.
Following a four-year hiatus, Michelle Pfeiffer makes her acting return taking the titular role in Andrew Dosunmu’s slow-burning drama Where is Kyra? Poverty-stricken Kyra lives in Brooklyn with her elderly ailing mother Ruth (Suzanne Shepherd) and struggles to make ends meet as she hunts for a job. After suffering a loss, she drowns her sorrows in the local drinking den where she meets lowly caretaker Doug (Kiefer Sutherland). The pair make a connection, bonding over their hardship, but Kyra’s desperate need for cash soon leads her to take a treacherous risk.
Just in time for summer, the hit nineties television show Baywatch has been given the cinematic treatment. Directed by Seth Gordon, the modern-day reimagining stars Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as Lieutenant Mitch Buchannon, chief lifeguard at Emerald Bay, Florida. Along with his loyal team that includes Stephanie (Ilfenesh Hadera) and C.J. (Kelly Rohrbach), they run try-outs to find three new members and when disgraced Olympic swimmer Matt Brody (Zac Efron) signs up, cocky and full of confidence, he thinks he’s in for an easy ride. Before long, some dangerous criminal activity is discovered in the area, and the gang must come up with a plan to protect the bay.
Since a brief yet scene-stealing cameo in last year’s disappointing DC effort, the anticipation around the Wonder Woman stand-alone outing has been rife. This is the first female-led comic-book movie in over a decade, and filmmaker Patty Jenkins is in the hot seat, directing her first feature since 2003. Focussing on the backstory of Amazonian princess Diana (Gal Gadot), we see her upbringing on the island of Themyscira where her aunt General Antiope (Robin Wright) trains her for combat. When British army spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) crash lands on the island’s idyllic shores, Diana comes to his rescue and learns of the WWI atrocities unfolding across Europe. Feeling duty-bound to protect innocents in danger, she persuades Steve to take her to the frontline, convinced that she can bring down Ares, the god of war, to protect mankind.
Sebastian Barry’s novel The Secret Scripture was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize back in 2008, and now writer and director Jim Sheridan has adapted the Irish story from page to screen. The plot centres around mental hospital patient Roseanne McNulty (Vanessa Redgrave) who has spent fifty years in an institute after she was reported to have brutally murdered her new-born baby. With plans set in motion to demolish the home and for a flat redevelopment, Dr. William Grene (Eric Bana) is sent to assess her state of mind. A dark past is soon revealed through both the scribbles and sketches in her beloved Bible which give the film its name, and in flashback sequences were Rooney Mara takes the leading role as the young protagonist.