Let's have a ganders.
Colm Tóibín’s novel, Brooklyn, is given the big screen treatment in an adaption by Nick Hornby. This is this tale of a female Irish expat experience in 1950s Brooklyn starring the always excellent Saoirse Ronan as an immigrant finding her feet, and indeed love on the streets of New York.
Very Irish, epic in scope and a film rich in romance and Gallic sentiment, the film has been praised for its unique portrayal of a young Irish woman emigrating, its witty script and its strong performances. It has also been praised for its cinematic vista, an exemplar for what filmmaking can do in covering the life of an otherwise ordinary lives as well as being a love letter for America (in the 50s at least) as the land of opportunity.
Judging by quite sizeable chunk of the mixed reaction to this new film from director John Wells, this is maybe not only a case of a ‘burnt’ lead character but a ‘burnt out’ film too. Bradley Cooper plays Chef Adam Jones, a Marco Pierre-White meets Gordon Ramsay type Michelin-starred rockstar with something of the reputation from the Parisian restaurant scene who matches his quality cooking with numerous bad habits.
This is the sort of shtick that could, if executed well, be mildly entertaining and clearly Bradley Cooper fans will flock to see this in droves. The trailer suggests there’s plenty of commitment from its leads, including Sienna Miller as his wife and lots of good looking food! The disappointment is that you’d also expect a script from the usually excellent Steven Knight would fizzle more than just the cooking itself and provide something of a substance. Sadly I don’t think all critics think so.
Kill Your Friends (18)
Director Owen Harris’s full-blown portrayal of the Britpop laden music industry during the 90s has garnered mixed critical reaction - a full blown cocktail of excess, drugs focussing on the character Stellox, an A&R man who aspires for the dream but takes his desire for acclaim to desperate and indeed extreme levels!
It’s clearly designed as a larger than life portrayal and in Stellox a character for Nicholas Hoult to get his teeth and everything else stuck into! The film’s coarseness is both its potential appeal and repellence depending on where your particular line is drawn, and many lines are drawn and snorted in this film!
He Named Me Malala (PG)
Documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, him of An Inconvenient Truth fame, steps behind the scenes of the life of Malala Yosafzai, giving us the opportunity to get to the heart of what drives her inspiring humanitarian work and also get to see her as a teenager and a daughter behind the scenes.
Guggenheim attempted to make what was ostensibly a glorious PowerPoint presentation into a film of documentary cinema! Love it or loathe it, he knows how to wrap a bit of mainstream into documentary filmmaking, and by focusing on Malala, there is the opportunity to see her every day and her school work and then combine it with see her standing with, and standing up to, Barrack Obama. If the film has any shortcomings, I’m grateful Malala is extraordinary enough to make it worth watching.
Fidelio: Alice's Journey (15)
Lucie Borleteau’s acclaimed 2014 debut feature gets an airing at the mac (Tues 10 - Wed 11), the story of Alice , a 30 year-old sailor, caught in a menage-a-trois between Félix who waits for her ashore, and her first lover, Gaël, the captain of the Fidelio that she unexpectedly founds herself on. In her cabin Alice she comes across the diary of a former deceased mechanic, whose life and experiences echo her own journey.
That's it from me this week. As always any queries, please drop me a line on Twitter @timmy666. Until then, have a great week at the cinema.