Another busy month with lots of interesting and varied movies, here are the contenders for movie of the month: onth:
McFarland: (I actually saw this at the end of September but forgot to add it my list) Disney does these true life sporting movies really well, see Million Dollar Arm, Invincible and Miracle for example. The young unknown cast are good as is Kevin Costner, Maria Bello isn’t given much to work with.
Macbeth: Brutal and visceral take on Shakespeare’s tragedy. It looks fantastic and has a real emotional impact but has a flaw. Normally the centre of the story, Lady Macbeth is sidelined, this is all the more surprising considering she is played by Marion Cotillard.
The Walk: Dramatisation of Philippe Petit’s illegal high-wire walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre as seen in the documentary Man on Wire (2008). The walk is spectacular especially in IMAX but the build up is a little flat.
The Intern: A retired 70 year old man takes a job as an intern. Don’t be fooled by it being a nice film or the lukewarm reviews, it is actually really good largely thanks to stars Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.
Suffragette: If you only remember one thing from school about women’s suffrage in Britain it will be Emily Davison and the kings horse at the Epsom Derby. More than a hundred years have passed since then and yet this is the first film on the subject. Carey Mulligan is fantastic in the lead as are Anne-Marie Duff, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw in supporting roles, the plot however is a little too by the numbers and fails to elevate the film to greatness.
Crimson Peak: The look of the film possibly owes a debt to Dario Argento or even Nicolas Roeg but the story is pure Guillermo del Toro. A spiritual successor to The Devil’s Backbone to, to paraphrase a quote from the movie it isn’t a ghost story, it is a story with ghosts. Mia Wasikowska and Tom Hiddleston are good, Jessica Chastain is fantastic and clearly having a blast.
The Program: The story of how and why Lance Armstrong cheated his way to be the most famous and successful Tour de France rider. Well passed and structured and with great performances from Ben Foster and Chris O Dowd.
Black Mass: Whitey Bulger was the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, he was also an FBI informant and his brother was state senator. A story so bizarre it has to be true! The film plods a little and isn’t a patch on similar themed Martin Scorsese films. Johnny Depp’s performance is actually very good but is distracted by his over reliance on makeup.
The Lobster: Set in a strange unexplained dystopian society where single people are turned into an animal of their choosing if they fail to find a partner. The strangest film I have seen for a very long time, I really liked it, but I am really not sure why.
The Last Witch Hunter: Vin Diesel plays an immortal witch hunter keeping the world safe. There is nothing wrong with it but it fails to do anything, new original or particularly interesting. Most notable as the first significant movie role for Rose Leslie from Game of Thrones.
SPECTRE: Following Skyfall is an impossible task, and to say isn’t as good doesn’t mean it isn’t a really good film. Pulling together all the elements of the previous three films to create a story arc for Daniel Craig’s Bond feels forced but taken on its own merits it really works.