Tara Brady and Don­ald Clarke’s picks of the cur­rent film re­leases

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THE TAKE CINEMA -

AVENGERS: IN­FIN­ITY WAR ★★★ Di­rected by An­thony Russo, Joe Russo. Star­ring Robert Downey jnr, Chris He ms worth, Mark Ruff a lo, Chris Evans, Scar­lett Jo hans son, Bene­dict Cum ber batch, Chad­wick Bose­man, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, El­iz­a­beth Olsen, Don Chea­dle, An­thony M ac kie, Tom Hol­land, Zoe Sal dana, Sebastian Stan, Benec io del Toro, Paul Bet­tany,T om Vaughan Law l or, Gwyneth Pal trow, Peter

Din­klage If Thanos (Brolin) will al­low us to say so, the lat­est su­per­hero chaos kicks off when that alien tyrant ar­rives on Earth in search of magic jewels that will al­low him to dom­i­nate or de­stroy or re dec­o­rate the uni­verse. Be­fore long, ev­ery­body in Stan Lee’s phone book has ral­lied in re­sis­tance. Even Marvel scep­tics might, if the film didn’t take its guff so se­ri­ously, ac­cept the gang-show aes­thetic and of­fer two cau­tious thumbs up. But it’s as up-it­self as ever. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 149 min DC

BEAST ★★★★ Di­rected by Michael Pear ce. Star­ring Jessie Buck­ley, Johnny Flynn, Geral­dine James, Try stan Gravel le, Oliver M alt man, Charley Palmer

Roth­well Up­staged her own deathly birth­day party, Moll (Buck­ley, ter­rific) slinks off to a lo­cal night­club where a boozy evening is rounded off with an en­counter with rugged Pas­cal (Flynn), a hunts­man who lives off the land. Pearce’s film res­ur­rects the psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller with jolts of Hitch­cock­ian in­trigue and class snob­bery. The in­su­lar Jersey set­ting am­pli­fies both Moll’s iso­la­tion and re­bel­lion and makes for strange colo­nial un­der­cur­rents and hints of such ley-line English hor­rors as The Wicker Man. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 107 min TB

BLOCKERS ★★★★ Di­rected by Kay Can­non. Star­ring Kathryn New­ton, John Ce na, Les­lie

Mann Three girls plan to lose their vir­gin­ity. Their par­ents plan to stop them. The film sets it­self apart from most high-school shag come­dies by fo­cus­ing un­crit­i­cally on fe­male sex­u­al­ity even as it rel­ishes the dads’ dis­com­fort with that topic. “Why is sex even bad?” some­one says, ca­su­ally en­cap­su­lat­ing the dilemma at the heart of so much Amer­i­can com­edy. The rou­tines are hit and miss but when they work they prop­erly tear the roof off. 16 cert, gen re­lease, 102 min DC


Di­rected by Chris Kelly This doc­u­men­tary fo­cuses on three peo­ple in­volved in a se­ries of protests – based mainly around land own­er­ship – that some have dubbed the “Cam­bo­dian Spring”. Ven­er­a­ble So­vath, a Bud­dhist monk, speaks per­sua­sively about his wider so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and why he can’t “stay in the pagoda”. Toul Srey Pov and Tep Vanny make the case for dis­placed cit­i­zens. Kelly tells his com­plex story with great lu­cid­ity and works some startling im­ages into the edit. Six worth­while years in the mak­ing. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 127 min DC


Di­rected by David F rey ne. Star­ring Sam Keely, Ellen Page, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Paula Mal­com­son, Stu­art Gra­ham, Os­car Nolan, David

Her­lihy Freyne’s im­pres­sive de­but fea­ture imag­ines an Ire­land in which, fol­low­ing a zom­bie apoca­lypse, re­ha­bil­i­tated flesh eaters are in­te­grated back into so­ci­ety. Keely is bro­ken as the dam­aged hero. Vaughan-Lawlor is charis­matic as a rebel. Page is im­pres­sively flat­tened as Keely’s sis­ter-in-law. The core ac­tion gets a lit­tle swamped by im­port in the clos­ing stages. But this re­mains an orig­i­nal, thought­ful en­ter­tain­ment that is sure to pro­pel its cre­ator to­wards still greater things. 16 cert, lim re­lease, 95 min DC

THEDELINQU­ENTSEASON ★★ Direct­ed­byMarkO’Rowe.Star­ring Cil­lianMur­phy,EvaBirthis­tle, An­drewS­cott,Cather­ineWalker,

Ly­dia McGuin­ness Jim (Mur­phy) and Daniele (Birthis­tle) are smugly mar­ried. They have other smug mar­rieds, in­clud­ing Chris (Scott) and Yvonne (Walker) around for din­ner par­ties, un­til Jim and Yvonne em­bark on an af­fair. Sub-Bergmanesq­ue shenani­gans en­sue. The de­but fea­ture from ac­claimed play­wright Mark O’Rowe is a bit of a dis­ap­point­ment. The denizens of The Delin­quent

Sea­son are all ghastly and yet – de­spite valiant ef­forts from a tal­ented en­sem­ble cast – not quite hor­rid enough to be in­ter­est­ing or en­gag­ing. 15A cert, lim re­lease, 104 min TB

THE GUERNSEY LIT­ER­ARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SO­CI­ETY ★ Di­rected by Mike Newell. Star­ring Lily James, Glen Pow­ell, Michiel Hui sm an, Tom Courte­nay, Matthew Goode, Jes­sica Brown Findlay,

Pene­lope Wil­ton Lazy, life­less adap­ta­tion of the pop­u­lar novel fol­low­ing a post­war writer (James, fine) as she hears tales of the Nazi oc­cu­pa­tion of Guernsey. At least two

Down­ton Abbey alum­nae join at least one the­atri­cal great and at least one grad­u­ate of the Bri­tish new wave in a film that pays more at­ten­tion to the cut of the ac­tors’ tweeds than to nar­ra­tive co­he­sion. So anaemic you feel the urge to feed it a pint of Guin­ness. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 123 min DC

NEW RE­LEASE IFEELPRETT­Y ★★ Di­rected by Abby Kohn, Marc Sil­ver­stein.Star­ringAmySch­umer, MichelleWi­l­liams,Ro­ryS­covel, Emi­lyRata­jkowski,NaomiCamp­bell,

Lau­renHut­ton Schumer, on­line drone at a beauty firm, biffs her head and be­comes con­vinced that she is more “con­ven­tion­ally at­trac­tive” (stay with me as I en­ter­tain the film’s own logic) than she has hith­erto be­lieved. Ham-fisted satire about at­ti­tudes to fe­male sex­u­al­ity fol­low in a fit­ful com­edy that can’t quite de­cide what it thinks about the is­sues. Peren­nial gloom-bot Wil­liams – hi­lar­i­ous as a wispy fash­ion maven – comes clos­est to sav­ing an in­dif­fer­ent pro­ject. 12A, cert, gen re­lease, 110 min DC

ISLEOFDOGS ★★★★★ Direct­ed­byWesAn­der­son.Voices of Bryan Cranston, Ed­ward Nor­ton, Bil­lMur­ray,Gre­taGer­wig,Frances McDor­mand,Scar­let­tJo­hans­son,

Til­daSwin­ton In a fu­tur­is­tic Ja­pan, a thug­gish, to­tal­i­tar­ian Mayor Kobayashi – the de­scen­dant of a long line of cat fanciers – uses an out­break of snout fever to jus­tify the ban­ish­ment of all ca­nines. The pup­pers and dog­gos of Me­gasaki City are ac­cord­ingly rounded up and dumped on Trash Is­land, where they scrap in mar­vel­lous dust-ups and strug­gle to sur­vive on mag­goty morsels. Wes An­der­son’s sec­ond stop-mo­tion film (af­ter Fan­tas­tic Mr Fox) doesn’t put a paw wrong. PG cert, gen re­lease, 101 min TB NEW RE­LEASE LEANONPETE ★★★★ Di­rected by An­drew Haigh. Star­ring Char­lie Plum­mer, Chloë Se­vi­gny, Steve Buscemi, Travis Fim­mel, Steve Zahn, Amy Seimetz, Justin Rain Charley (Plum­mer), a mother­less 15-year-old Port­landian, hap­pens upon a lo­cal race­track, a hard­boiled horse owner Dell (Buscemi), and his world-weary jockey, Bon­nie (Se­vi­gny). Bon­nie re­peat­edly warns the boy not to get too at­tached to Lean on Pete, the ill-starred race­horse of the ti­tle. But it’s al­ready too late. The spirit of Sam Shep­ard lives on in this un­sen­ti­men­tal com­ing-of-age tale, an un­var­nished fa­ble that falls some­where be­tween The Ad­ven­tures of Huck­le­berry Finn and The Grapes of Wrath. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 127 min TB

THE LEISURE SEEKER ★★ Direct­ed­byPaoloVir­zì.Star­ring He­len Mir­ren, Don­ald Suther­land, Chris­tianMcKay,JanelMolon­ey,

DanaIvey,Dick­Gre­gory Mir­ren and Suther­land are tol­er­a­ble in the story of an el­derly cou­ple mak­ing one last jour­ney to Hem­ming­way’s house in Key West. Virzì’s grey-pound drama dis­tin­guishes it­self in at least one re­gard: It’s some achieve­ment to make a film about the twi­light years that oozes bo­gus sen­ti­men­tal­ity while still be­ing ev­ery bit as de­press­ing as Michael Haneke’s un­flinch­ing Amour. There’s sup­posed to be a trade-off here. Mis­er­able and drippy? Not fair. 15A cert, gen re­lease, 112 min DC LETTHESUNS­HINEIN/UNBEAU SOLEILINTÉ­RIEUR ★★★ Di­rected by Claire De­nis. Star­ring Juli­et­teBinoche,GérardDepa­r­dieu,

JosianeBal­asko Is­abelle (Binoche) is a smart woman who makes bad choices. Not too far into the se­ries of frag­mented en­coun­ters that passes for a plot, she tells a friend that she can only or­gasm by think­ing about how much of a bas­tard her banker lover is. Or by imag­in­ing him with a whore. And so on. Ru­mours tells us that De­nis’s odd film is in­spired by Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Dis­course: Frag­ments. But it’s not re­ally; rather, it is an odd, me­an­der­ing reverie that en­gages as of­ten as it frus­trates. 15A cert, IFI, Dublin, 95 min TB

LOVE, SI­MON ★★★★ Direct­ed­byGregBer­lanti.Star­ring Nick­Robin­son,Kather­ineLang­ford, Alexan­draShipp,Jen­nifer­Garner,

Josh Duchamel, Tony Hale Si­mon Spier is a much-ad­mired high-school se­nior grow­ing up in a pic­ture-per­fect Amer­i­can sub­urb. His friends are bub­bly and gor­geous. His par­ents (Garner and Duchamel) are lov­ing and un­der­stand­ing. His younger sis­ter is the op­po­site of bratty. It shouldn’t be a big deal for Si­mon to come out, and yet it is. None would ever mis­take this shiny, glossy movie for the queerer pic­tures in the Gregg Araki archive, but by go­ing the full John Hughes, it’s a land­mark LGBTQ movie. Af­fect­ing, too. 12A cert, gen re­lease, 109 min TB MAK­ING THE GRADE ★★★★ Direct­ed­byKenWardr­op Pick­ing up where 2010 sleeper hit His & Hers left off, Ken Wardrop’s third fea­ture de­picts the re­la­tion­ships be­tween Ir­ish pi­ano stu­dents and their teach­ers. The film meets and warmly greets some 51 par­tic­i­pants – hail­ing from all over Ire­land – as they pre­pare for their Royal Ir­ish Academy of Mu­sic ex­am­i­na­tions. Us­ing that body’s grade struc­ture, Mak­ing the Grade opens with five-year-old Harry Kee­gan climb­ing on to a stool for his first les­son, and closes with those tack­ling Rach­mani­noff for Grade Eight. Heart­warm­ing. G cert, lim re­lease, 87 min TB

Char­l­ize Theron in Tully

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