DAVID AT­TEN­BOR­OUGH: A LIFE ON OUR PLANET REAL

Empire (UK) - - ON SCREEN - PAR­TIC­I­PANT JN 18 SEPTEM­BER DI­REC­TOR CAST 11 SEPTEM­BER DI­REC­TOR CAST 15 84 MINS 15 78 MINS AW

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Alas­tair Fothergill, Jonathan Hughes, Keith Sc­ho­ley

David At­ten­bor­ough

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.

★★★

OUT

★★★

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Aki Omoshaybi

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.

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