Chilean writer and director Sebastián Silva explores social cues amongst a group of thirty-something year old men in his indie comedy drama Tyrel. Unfolding across an alcohol-fuelled weekend, the plot centres around Tyler (Jason Mitchell) who is invited by Johnny (Christopher Abbott) to his friend’s birthday celebrations at an isolated cabin in the Catskill mountains. Being the only black guy in the bunch, Tyler begins to feel increasingly uncomfortable when inhibitions are lost, and the culture gap appears to widen.
Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi has enjoyed much critical acclaim with his impactful social-realist movies, and he has turned his directorial gaze to the dusty Spanish suburbs for his latest piece. Mystery drama Everybody Knows follows Laura (Penélope Cruz) who, with her children in tow, returns to her hometown for her sister’s wedding. She reconnects with old flame Paco (Javier Bardem) at the ceremony, but the family fun comes to an abrupt end when her teenage daughter Irene (Carla Campra) goes missing in the night.Continue reading “DVD review: Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben)”
Acclaimed Belgian writer and director Felix van Groeningen makes his English language debut with biographical drama Beautiful Boy. Based on memoirs by father and son David and Nic Sheff, the plot explores drug addiction through the perspective of a loving parent. When David (Steve Carell) discovers that his son Nic (Timothée Chalamet) has been using marijuana, cocaine and crystal meth, he promptly checks him into a rehabilitation clinic, and the affliction soon puts a strain on their relationship.
Even if you aren’t overly familiar with the work of Stanley Laurel and Oliver Hardy, the duo’s distinctive image is synonymous with comedy and cinema. Jon S. Baird’s latest feature pulls back the curtain to explore the men behind the slapstick public personas. Years after their Hollywood heyday, Stan (Steve Coogan) persuades Ollie (John C. Reilly) to hit the road, and the pair embark on a live theatre tour of post-war Britain.
After transitioning his work from his native language to English, madcap Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos has been making waves in the industry with his auteuristic style. His latest comedy The Favourite is a period drama which follows the trials and tribulations of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) in the early 18th century. Suffering from gout, she becomes heavily reliant on her advisor Sarah (Rachel Weisz) to manage her affairs. When Sarah’s estranged cousin Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives at the palace as a scullery maid, the Queen’s attention is soon divided, and a family feud ensues for her affection.
Theatre director Josie Rourke makes the transition from stage to screen with her feature film debut Mary Queen of Scots. Based on historian John Guy’s novel, the period drama chronicles the 1569 conflict between Scotland and England. When Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) returns widowed to her native land at the age of eighteen, she and her Catholic nobles attempt to depose her cousin Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie) from her throne.
It’s been five years since the release of director Steve McQueen’s slave trade epic 12 Years a Slave, and now he is back to explore racial divide again in heist thriller Widows. Co-written with Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn, the story is based on Lynda La Plante’s 1980s crime series but has been shipped from London to modern day America for this adaptation. When an armed robbery goes terribly wrong, Veronica (Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez) and Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) are left with no spouses and a lot of problems. They’re indebted to corrupt politician Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry), who is embroiled in a dirty campaign against mayor Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell) to be alderman of a Chicago district. However, as Veronica lays her hands on her late husband’s notes for an upcoming job, she hatches an ambitious plan to settle the arrears.