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.
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.
Following his writing and direction on Once and Begin Again, Irish filmmaker John Carney has established himself as a force within the musical comedy genre. He returns with rebellious flick Sing Street, set in 1980s Dublin. Due to the economic difficulties, Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is transferred from posh school to comprehensive, and struggles to fit in to his new regime. When he spots mysterious girl Raphina (Lucy Boynton) lurking on a street corner donned in sunglasses and style, he tells her that he is the singer in a band in an attempt to impress. To follow up on his little white lie, he brings together new friends including the witty and wise Darren (Ben Carolan) and jack-of-all-trades musician Eamon (Mark McKenna) to form Sing Street, a play on words taken from their school’s name.