Hold the front page: Keira’s got a serial killer in her sights
BOSTON STRANGLER (113 mins, HHHII) shares a title and subject with the 1968 picture starring Tony Curtis and Henry Fonda, for whom Keira Knightley, with all due respect, is a pretty poor substitute.
But this film approaches the story of the serial killer who terrorised the Massachusetts city in the early 1960s, murdering 13 women, from a different angle.
Knightley plays Loretta McLaughlin, a dogged reporter with the Record-American newspaper in Boston, who teamed up with an even feistier colleague, Jean Cole (Carrie Coon). Together, the two women overcame the kind of institutionalised workplace sexism so characteristic of the era (Mad Men turned it into seven seasons of TV drama) to become, in essence, the Woodward and Bernstein of the Strangler story. There’s a satisfying irony in two women chasing a man targeting women, but really their main antagonists are the obstructive (and apparently useless) police department.
A classy supporting cast includes Chris Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Bill Camp, and it’s an enlightening film without being especially gripping. (On Disney+)
MARLOWE (15, 109 mins, HHHII), features a miscast Liam Neeson as Raymond Chandler’s laconic gumshoe in Neil Jordan’s watchable but stolid attempt at a neo-noir crime thriller. I like Neeson and he certainly wears a 1930s trilby well, but he just doesn’t fit the character like Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum and even Elliott Gould did. For starters, it doesn’t seem to occur to anyone in 1939 LA to ask why a private detective might sport an Ulster brogue. But trilbys off to Neeson all the same — this is his 100th film and, at 70, he can still convincingly beat up a couple of heavies half his age.
Plus, it’s always a pleasure to see Jessica Lange, here playing an imperious old movie star. (In cinemas and Sky Cinema.)
I went to the Hereford Odeon last weekend to watch 65 (12A, 93 mins, HHIII), a daft sci- fi caper with Adam Driver as an intergalactic pilot not in the future . . . but 65 million years in the past, who crash-lands on Earth in the age of the dinosaur.
I amused myself by thinking of 65 reasons to walk out, but in fairness, nobody did. (Only in cinemas.)