Greetings one and all and welcome to At The Flix, your guide to the latest releases hitting Birmingham this week.
It’s a short selection this week. So without further ado, let’s have a peer …
Most Wanted Man, A (15)
Director: Anton Corbijn
Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright
Based on John LeCarre‘s novel, A Most Wanted Man provides a smart, sharp as well as subtle spy thriller, the latest film from Anton Corbijn and one of the last from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The film focusses on a half-Chechen tortured immigrant who arrives in Hamburg’s Islamic community, laying claim to his father’s ill-gotten fortune. Intelligence communities pursue this man with great interest as they race to establish his true identity and motive.
No doubt promising a lot of deep ambiguity and reflection, Corbijn artistic eye for details and patient cinematic pacing is made as a counterpoint to Hoffman’s path to gradual despair. From a personal perspective, there’s nothing better than a great espionage thriller when it works!
A case of welcome back LeCarre and RIP the great Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Garnering almost universally positive reviews, Pride focusses on the story of the lesbian and gay communities of London coming together in 1984 to support the minors of South Wales. Together they form a strong bond despite the reservations of many to fight their cause.
The film channels a lot of spirit from classic British comedies that preceded it – Made in Dagenham, Billy Elliot, Calendar Girls, Brassed Off and The Full Monty etc.
All credit to the film’s makers to establish such a fantastic cast, a poignant story and great characters, avoiding the schmaltz or sentimentalism in favour of something altogether sharper and more enjoyable.
Boxtrolls, The (3D) (PG)
The Boxtrolls feels a bit like a hangover from the Summer holidays, but nonetheless here we go, a family movie from the folks that brought you the excellent “Coraline” and “ParaNorman”.
The Boxtrolls are a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs in the amazing cavernous home they’ve built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town’s villain, Archibald Snatcher (Sir Ben Kingsley), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, “into the light,” where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnifred. Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs’ family.
I like how the folks at Laika aren’t afraid to stand out. Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi never shirk on the tone. As Paranorman demonstrated, they were fans of horror and prepared to throw it out there within the basis of a PG rating. I expect this to be no different.
At the mac, The Grand Seduction (15) is a limited release Canadian film, starring Taylor Kitsch and Brendan Gleeson about a dying Newfoundland fishing village who must convince a young doctor to take up residence by any means necessary to survive. The film has been receiving mixed reviews, praised for its heart and comedic traditions.
That’s it from me. As always, get your quibbles, queries, questions into me on twitter @timmy666 and I’ll be sure to engage in some magnificently twitterific movie chat.
Until next week, happy cinema trips to all of you!