Following in the footsteps of his father, the iconic filmmaker David Cronenberg, writer and director Brandon Cronenberg dabbles in the ‘body horror’ sub-genre that his old man pioneered for his grisly sophomore feature Possessor. Revered hitwoman Tasya Vos (Andrea Riseborough) is at the centre of the sci-fi thriller, working for an organisation that uses brain-implant technology to allow assassins to carry out hits whilst inhabiting someone else’s body. For her latest assignment, she must ‘possess’ Colin Tate (Christopher Abbott) to take out his boss John Parse (Sean Bean), the filthy rich head of a data mining corporate empire.
Steve Coogan may well be best known for his comedic beginnings and his recurring reincarnations as television and radio presenter Alan Partridge, but from more recent roles, in particular his part in Oscar nominated film Philomena, we now know he can do serious seriously well. In courtroom-drama Shepherds and Butchers, written and directed by Oliver Schmitz, he plays compassionate defence lawyer Johan Webber. When seven black men are callously shot and killed by 17-year-old prison guard Leon Labuschagne (Garion Dowds), Webber is given the impossible task of defending him at the trial. Set in 1987 South Africa, he is pitted against prosecutor Kathleen Murray (Andrea Riseborough), who argues that Leon should be sentenced to death. An intelligently told story unfolds, exploring and dissecting the conflicting views on capital punishment; a system which was abolished just eight years later.