Never mind the frolics... here’s Nicole as a punk!
The already muchmissed John Hurt bids us a particularly poignant farewell – at least as a leading man – in That Good Night (12A) playing an ageing and irascible screenwriter living in rural Iberian luxury with his much younger second wife (Sofia Helin from TV’s The Bridge) and, oh yes, a secret terminal illness.
So has the old egoist left it too late to repair his relationship with his adult son, Michael?
Based on an N J Crisp stage play, this couldn’t be described as particularly deep or challenging but Hurt, right, is excellent, the initially underpowered-looking support gets better as it goes on, and Hurt’s own death gives it extra impact.
Set in a near future where everything we see is committed to hard-drive courtesy of the ‘mind’s eye’, Anon (16) posits a world where crime should have been eliminated. After all, detectives like Sal Frieland (Clive Owen) can simply rewind the point-ofview footage and see who did it. Unless, of course, there’s someone out there – living as a ‘ghost’ off the grid – with the hacking skills to change that recorded past…
Andrew Niccol, responsible for cult sci-fi film Gattaca, delivers an undeniably stylish-looking film noir but is hampered by an overworked screenplay and an underpowered Owen.
A mere seven years after the modest success of Gnomeo & Juliet, along comes Sherlock Gnomes (U)
an unlikely blend of garden gnomes, the music of Elton John and a pintsized version of the world’s best-known detective, now rebranded as the ‘sworn protector of garden gnomes’. Which is just as well as someone is stealing London’s gnomes and the chief suspect is Holmes’s long-standing adversary, Moriarty.
Animated London is great but the story is soso, despite some nice Holmesian touches. Since it’s set in 1977, at the height of punk, I thought I knew exactly where How To Talk To Girls At Parties (15A) ★★★★was heading as three band-loving schoolboys try to gatecrash a post-gig after-party. But their hosts are… well, a little odd.
Are they fashion students, conceptual artists, a cult? Or something altogether stranger?
Based on a short story by Neil Gaiman, this is gloriously bonkers, with a charming central performance from Elle Fanning and game support from Nicole Kidman.
BONKERS: Nicole Kidman, centre, in How to talk to Girls At Parties. Right: Alex sharp and Elle Fanning