It’s not uncommon for filmmakers to reunite with actors they have worked with previously, which is exactly what writer and director David Lowery has done in reconnecting Rooney Mara with Casey Affleck on-screen. Their past collaboration was a Western romance, and the latest piece is something not only very different from that, but unlike anything you’ll see all year. Indie drama A Ghost Story follows lovers credited only as C (Affleck) and M (Mara) and their suburban married life. After tragedy strikes and C is killed in a car accident, he returns home as a white-sheeted ghostly presence to watch over his wife as she struggles to cope with the enormity of her loss.
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Some directors can attract A-listers thanks to their previous collaborations, their industry reputation or by the way in which they make films. The acclaimed yet divisive Terrence Malick falls into this category and has pulled together Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman to make up possibly the most star-studded cast in recent memory. His latest feature is romantic drama Song to Song, which unfolds against the backdrop of the music scene in Austin, Texas. At the centre of it all is Faye (Mara), a rising musician who embarks on a relationship with fellow performer BV (Gosling) but who is also seeing his manipulative producer Cook (Fassbender); hence a complicated love triangle ensues.
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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.
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