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CHIMES AT MID­NIGHT

★★★★★

CIN­DERELLA ★★★★ Di­rected by Ken­neth Branagh. Star­ring Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Mad­den, He­lena

Bon­ham Carter No­body is likely to con­fuse Branagh’s ir­re­sistible take on a familiar story with an art film. Still, in its lack of ex­per­i­ment, this Cin­derella does feel pos­i­tively ex­per­i­men­tal. It’s the vil­lains and the fan­tas­tic be­ings that liven up th­ese af­fairs. Blanchett en­gages with Lady Tre­maine, the no­to­ri­ous step­mother, in the same man­ner that Godzilla en­gaged with Tokyo. The leads are also lovely, but you know what they say about the devil’s tunes. G cert, gen re­lease, 105 min DC CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA/ SILS MARIA ★★★ Di­rected by Olivier As­sayas. Star­ring Juliette Binoche, Kristen Ste­wart, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lars Eidinger, Johnny Flynn, An­gela Win­kler, Hanns

Zis­chler Binoche plays an ac­tor re­vis­it­ing her break­through play while Ste­wart’s ef­fi­cient as­sis­tant hov­ers help­fully. It’s been a year since the lat­est meta-teaser from Olivier As­sayas pre­miered to mixed re­views at Cannes. In the in­terim, Ste­wart be­came the first ever Amer­i­can to win a César and the film’s rep­u­ta­tion has swollen sig­nif­i­cantly. On sec­ond glance, it still seems like a shal­low project with no­tions well above it­self. Ste­wart is ex­cel­lent, though. 15A cert, QFT, Belfast; IFI/Light House, Dublin, 123 min TB COBAIN: MON­TAGE OF HECK ★★★★★ Direc­tor Brett Morgen. Fea­tur­ing Kurt Cobain, Court­ney

Love, Krist Novoselic Ex­cel­lent doc­u­men­tary on the late Kurt Cobain. What emerges is a stag­ger­ingly bril­liant por­trait of a stag­ger­ingly bril­liant artist. Us­ing an­i­ma­tions to both drama­tise au­dio record­ings and to bring Kurt’s ex­ten­sive cat­a­logues of doo­dles to life, Mon­tage of Heck has a won­der­ful hand­made feel. Full ac­cess to the ar­chives has been made the most of. Club, Light House, Dublin, 132 min TB

THE DUFF ★★★ Di­rected by Ari San­del. Star­ring Mae Whit­man, Bella

Thor­nel, Al­li­son Jan­ney “Duff” stands for “des­ig­nated ugly fat friend”. And The Duff is a so­ci­o­log­i­cally in­spired novel in the mould of Mean Girls. San­del’s pic­ture re­ally, re­ally wants to be Mean

Girls or Clue­less when it grows up, and even if it’s not quite there, we ad­mire the in­ten­tion. Vet­er­ans, in­clud­ing Jan­ney and Ken Jeong, pro­vide lov­able cameos, though ul­ti­mately the film be­longs to its charm­ing lead. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 101 min TB FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD ★★★ Di­rected by Thomas Vin­ter­berg. Star­ring Carey Mul­li­gan, Matthias Schoe­naerts, Michael Sheen, Tom Stur­ridge, Juno

Tem­ple Per­fectly ad­e­quate, un­de­ni­ably beau­ti­ful ver­sion of the novel that made Thomas Hardy’s name and spawned one of the 1960s’ sig­na­ture films. Mul­li­gan is nu­anced as the landowner un­able to choose be­tween three very dif­fer­ent men. Schoe­naerts is a com­mend­able moral cen­tre. Sheen is con­vinc­ingly ma­ture. But Stur­ridge is an un­der­pow­ered dis­as­ter as the sup­pos­edly charis­matic sol­dier who sweeps her off her feet. He brings more of a trou­bling squall than an an­ni­hi­lat­ing hur­ri­cane. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 119 min DC

FAST AND FU­RI­OUS 7 ★★ Di­rected by James Wan. Star­ring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne John­son, Michelle Ro­driguez, Ja­son Statham, Kurt

Rus­sell, Tony Jai The au­to­mo­tive fran­chise sur­vives the death of Walker to de­liver a slightly ho-hum sev­enth edi­tion. De­spite the lengthy and sen­ti­men­tal trib­ute to Walker in the closing scenes (mon­tage, ahoy) his ab­sence is not as keenly felt as for­mer direc­tor Justin Lin. His re­place­ment, Wan ( Saw,

The Con­jur­ing) may be a dab hand at things that go bump in the night, but ac­tion is not his strong point. A Tourette’s flurry of fast cuts. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 134 min TB

FORCE MA­JEURE ★★★★★ Di­rected by Ruben Östlund. Star­ring Jo­hannes Bah

Kuhnke Fol­low­ing an act of cow­ardice dur­ing an avalanche at a ski re­sort, To­mas (Bah Kuhnke) is forced to re-eval­u­ate his re­la­tion­ship with his fam­ily. There are end­less recriminations, icy looks, con­ver­sa­tions that go around and around to no end, and, most of all, the ex­cru­ci­at­ing sense of be­ing stuck in a room with mar­ried peo­ple who are, fig­u­ra­tively, tak­ing lumps out of each other. DOP Fredrik Wenzel’s sub­lime snows­capes pro­vide the cherry for a wicked con­fec­tion. 15A cert, Light House, Dublin, 120 min DC

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