DAVID ATTENBOROUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET REAL
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Alastair Fothergill, Jonathan Hughes, Keith Scholey
Intended as a continuation of (or epilogue for?) his famous Life series, first started in 1979,
A Life On Our Planet finds David Attenborough in a wistful mood. Rather than opening on some grand vista of nature, the 94-year-old naturalist begins the film in the ruins of Chernobyl, as a dark omen of what could befall the world if we’re not careful. Thus begins an often apocalyptic natural history of our planet, and the relationship our species has had with it, told in a scattershot way. The message is urgently and passionately delivered by the national treasure, but the nature photography lacks the expertise of previous docs (while the sepia-toned recreations of Attenborough’s childhood feel a bit unnecessary). A Life On Our Planet, sadly, is no Life or Planet Earth.
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Aki Omoshaybi, Pippa Bennett-warner, Amanda Lawrence
OUT / CERT /
The past constantly threatens the future in Real, a promising debut feature from Aki Omoshaybi that earns its title over a taut 78 minutes. The writer-director also stars as Kyle, a smooth-talker struggling for work who is less than honest when he has a meet-cute with Jamie (Pippa Bennettwarner), a single mother with secrets of her own. Their courtship is both sweet and naturalistic, and as the film starts to unpack why each of them is hiding their true selves, the screenplay weaves in sharp observations on middle-class Black British life. The final minutes feel unnecessarily rushed and there are multiple coincidences which feel far-fetched, but Omoshaybi’s understated approach gels well with the subject matter at play.