(M) Michael Fassbender plays the legendary computer genius in this ingeniously constructed film by director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, which unfolds over just three occasions — in 1984, 1988 and 1998 — when Jobs was launching a new and eagerly anticipated product. Most of the drama unfolds backstage as the film explores the personal and professional life of the man with a cast that includes Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Sarah Snook.
Room (M) Inspired by the crimes of Austrian man Josef Fritzl, Room, based on the novel by Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue, tells the story of a young woman who is imprisoned in a modified garden shed somewhere in suburbia. She is 24, has existed in this space for seven years and has a five-year-old son, Jack, fathered by her captor on one of his regular visits to rape and torment her. While Jack is only an occasional narrator in the film, the film’s success hinges on this difficult role. Well, diminutive nine-year-old Canadian actor Jacob Tremblay is a revelation. He is utterly convincing. American actress Brie Larson has received an Oscar nomination for her finely balanced performance and it’s well deserved. Yet to my mind the real disappointment of this year’s Academy Awards is that Tremblay has not joined the select list of under-10-year-old Oscar nominees. There’s no denying that Room starts from a dark place, but that does not necessarily make it a bleak film.
Spotlight (M) Tom McCarthy’s riveting film follows a team of investigative journalists for The Boston Globe as they delve into the activities of pedophile priests in the Boston archdiocese and talk to their victims. There are strong performances from a fine cast that includes Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo and Liev Schreiber, and the film successfully avoids hysteria in favour of a meticulous depiction of the challenges facing journalists when they become involved in such a vast and sinister story.
An Evening with Gillian Welch Gillian Welch and her partner Dave Rawlings have written and produced five albums since 1996 under the Gillian Welch banner. Titles such as Hell Among the Yearlings (1998) and The Harrow & the Harvest