SEC­OND SCREEN

The Mail on Sunday - Event - - FILM - Matthew Bond

The phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess of Won­der Woman – to date the sec­ond-high­est-gross­ing film of 2017 – lends time­li­ness to Pro­fes­sor Marston And The Won­der Women (15) ★★★★, the story of how the first fe­male comic-book su­per­hero came to be writ­ten.

Back in late Twen­ties New Eng­land, Wil­liam Moul­ton Marston (Luke Evans) was a pro­fes­sor teach­ing psy­chol­ogy at then all-fe­male Rad­cliffe Col­lege.

His wife, El­iz­a­beth (Re­becca Hall), con­ceives an early ver­sion of the lie de­tec­tor, a de­vice that di­rec­tor An­gela Robin­son har­nesses here to erot­i­cally highly charged ef­fect when they both fall in love with a beau­ti­ful young stu­dent, Olive Byrne (Bella Heath­cote, right, with Hall and Evans) and she with them. But can their mé­nage à trois pos­si­bly live hap­pily ever af­ter?

Robin­son’s screen­play is beau­ti­fully and in­tel­li­gently crafted, with much of the story be­ing told in ef­fec­tive flash­back. All the per­for­mances are good but Hall’s is out­stand­ing, in a film that fudges a few is­sues but al­ways re­mains highly watch­able, al­beit in a rather su­pe­rior 50 Shades Of Grey sort of way.

Hav­ing wea­ried of films in which

men fall in love with a sexy com­puter pro­gramme or an­droid (Her, Ex Machina, Blade Run­ner

2049) it’s re­fresh­ing to see the same idea used to tell a dif­fer­ent sort of story. I mean, if you were a griev­ing widow, des­per­ately miss­ing your late hus­band, wouldn’t you warm to a holo­graphic com­puter pro­gramme that brought him back to life?

Michael Almereyda’s thought-pro­vok­ing Mar­jorie Prime (12A) ★★★★ is based on a play by Jor­dan Har­ri­son, one of the lead writ­ers of Or­ange Is The New Black. What it has to say about mem­ory def­i­nitely stays with you. Kalei­do­scope (15) ★★★★ is a low-bud­get psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller that should be com­pul­sory view­ing for film stu­dents, show­ing what can be achieved with good ac­tors (Toby Jones and Anne Reid) and a de­cent script, even when other re­sources are ob­vi­ously limited. Jones (whose brother Ru­pert di­rects and writes) plays Carl, who wakes up in his flat af­ter a big night to dis­cover a young woman’s body in his bath­room. Find­ing out how it got there is more com­pli­cated than you think. I spent the first 90 min­utes of Only The Brave (12A) ★★★ think­ing this starstud­ded tale of a team of Ari­zona forest­fire-fighters way too Amer­i­can for more re­strained Bri­tish tastes. I spent the har­row­ing last third feel­ing rather ashamed of my­self.

Jen­nifer Con­nelly in Only The Brave

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