Kevin gets to the Hart of the matter ...unlike Hugh
The Upside 12A ★★★★★
Some films just have no luck, and The Upside certainly appears to be one of them. Based on the French film Intouchables, a box-office smash in France in 2011, the first misfortune suffered was originally to have Harvey Weinstein as one of its producers.
More recently, homophobic tweets made by one of its stars, Kevin Hart, not only cost Hart his gig hosting next month’s Oscars but cast a cloud over the film’s release.
But The Upside is really good fun, with Hart giving arguably the performance of his career as Dell, a chancer from the New York projects who blags his way into a live-in job as full-time carer to the hugely wealthy Phillip (Bryan Cranston), left quadriplegic after a hang-gliding accident.
After a series of false starts and numerous interventions by Phillip’s business manager (Nicole Kidman), the two men improbably hit it off and, slowly, Dell helps Phillip to get his mojo back. Yes, it’s superficial, a bit glib and probably 15 minutes too long, but Hart, Cranston and Kidman are all excellent and the end result is very watchable.
The Front Runner 15A ★★★★★
Audiences in this part of the world are likely to struggle with this retelling of a very American ‘scandal’.
Hugh Jackman plays Gary Hart, the charismatic – and married – former senator who, in 1988, was favourite to land the Democratic nomination to run for President but was then caught in the company of a glamorous blonde.
The film never quite grips or gets to the bottom of what actually happened. Frustrating.
Scandal: Hugh Jackman as Gary Hart