The Herald Magazine - - Arts CINEMA -

and Ben Whishaw de­cided it was not for them. A brave move, and it pays off hand­somely for him. He has the off- and on-stage pres­ence of Mer­cury, with the singing voice sup­plied by the man him­self.

May, Tay­lor and John Dea­con (played by Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy and Joseph Mazello) come across about as well as you might ex­pect, given the project has been a labour of love and mad­ness for May and Tay­lor, both pro­duc­ers on the film. May in par­tic­u­lar comes across as the kind of de­cent cove who would one day be­come the coun­try’s fore­most de­fender of badgers. Tay­lor is amus­ingly blokeish while Dea­con is like­ably dull.


Dir: Ge­orge Till­man Jr

With: Amandla Sten­berg, Rus­sell Hornsby, An­thony Mackie Run­time: 133 min­utes

ANGIE Thomas’s young adult novel is given a lov­ing big screen treat­ment by Ge­orge Till­man Jr. The Hate U Give starts with “the talk” that black par­ents give to their chil­dren about what to do, and not do, if pulled over by the po­lice. Young Starr (played as a teenager by ris­ing star Amandla Sten­berg) lis­tens du­ti­fully, not know­ing what lies ahead in her life, di­vided as it is be­tween liv­ing in a poor black area but go­ing to school in a white, mid­dle-class dis­trict. Till­man’s film gets its Black Lives Mat­ter points across while de­liv­er­ing a funny, poignant teen drama, even if it does take an age to do so.


Dir: Jim Hosk­ing

With: Aubrey Plaza, Je­maine Cle­ment, Craig Robin­son Run­time: 108 min­utes

IMAG­INE if David Lynch di­rected a crime com­edy star­ring Flight of the Con­chords’ Je­maine Cle­ment with Aubrey Plaza as a vamp called Lulu, then take sev­eral more turns into weird­ness, and you have some idea of Jim Hoskign’s bizarro ca­per. The BLL of the ti­tle is a mys­te­ri­ous cabaret per­former who com­mu­ni­cates in grunts and says he hails from Aberdeen­shire. What is his con­nec­tion to Lulu Dan­ger, and will she live up to her sur­name? The joke starts to wear off around the hour mark, and the hu­mour is strictly aimed at the stu­dent crowd, but Plaza and com­pany are a hoot for a sur­pris­ingly long stretch.

While the pic­ture takes a rosy view of Mer­cury and mat­ters over­all, it is a long way from ha­giog­ra­phy. Au­di­ences are left with the im­pres­sion that Mer­cury could be cruel and self­ish as well as lov­ing and gen­er­ous. Else­where there is a sense of scores be­ing set­tled, some­times glee­fully, as when lousy re­views of Bo­hemian Rhap­sody scroll across the screen.

There are some lovely Spinal Tap mo­ments, par­tic­u­larly dur­ing the record­ing of the ti­tle song. “Who even is Galileo?” shouts an ex­as­per­ated Tay­lor be­ing asked to sing higher and higher. But the screen­play un­der­stands what made the band tick. Why are you

Whit­ney (Cert 15), £9.99

The whole world danced with Whit­ney Hous­ton in the sum­mer of 1987, pro­pel­ling her to the top of the charts in nu­mer­ous coun­tries in­clud­ing the UK. Stac­cato bursts of her rous­ing dance­floor an­them open Kevin Mac­don­ald’s re­veal­ing doc­u­men­tary, which ar­rives one year after Nick Broom­field and Rudi Dolezal’s poignant film Whit­ney: Can I Be Me. The two por­traits of doomed mu­si­cal ge­nius share some nar­ra­tive threads in­clud­ing the im­por­tance of best friend Robyn Craw­ford to Hous­ton’s well-be­ing and the spi­ral of self-de­struc­tion that fol­lowed her mar­riage to bad-boy singer Bobby Brown. Mac­don­ald’s heart­break­ing film is the only ac­count of Hous­ton’s life and ca­reer of­fi­cially sup­ported by her es­tate and in­cludes orig­i­nal stu­dio record­ings and never-be­fore-seen footage along­side live per­for­mances recorded by the late singer. The Scot­tish di­rec­tor of One Day in Septem­ber has been granted un­ri­valled ac­cess to the fam­ily’s ar­chives and he lov­ingly as­sem­bles per­sonal home movie footage, which re­veals the hu­mour and the an­guish be­hind the pol­ished stage per­sona. Whit­ney shows bound­less af­fec­tion for its lu­mi­nous sub­ject but Mac­don­ald’s ab­sorb­ing film is by no means a ha­giog­ra­phy: un­flat­ter­ing im­ages of Hous­ton in a stu­por are jux­ta­posed with one of her later per­for­mances when she failed to hit the high notes in her cover ver­sion of I Will Al­ways Love You.

Snatch, Sea­son One (Cert 15), £24.99

A group of twenty-some­thing hus­tlers stum­ble upon the big­gest score of their ca­reers in this TV se­ries based on the 2000 film di­rected by Guy Ritchie. Al­bert Hill (Luke Pasqualino) is the son of leg­endary bank rob­ber Vic Hill (Dougray Scott), who still man­ages a crim­i­nal empire from be­hind bars. Aided by his well­heeled buddy Char­lie Cavendish-Scott (Rupert Grint), Al­bert hopes to keep debtors at bay by wagering a small for­tune on trav­eller and boxer Billy Ayres (Lu­cien Lavis­court). The plan brings Al­bert and Char­lie to the at­ten­tion of cor­rupt cop DI Bob Fink (Marc Warren), who al­lows crime to flour­ish on his beat if it lines his pock­ets. Mean­while, Vic in­tro­duces his boy to Jewish lo­cal jew­eller Saul Gold to steal back di­a­monds from crime lord Sonny Castillo.

The More You Ig­nore Me (Cert 15), £19.99

Based on the crit­i­cally ac­claimed novel by Jo Brand, The More You Ig­nore Me is a dark, funny tale of dys­func­tional fam­ily life set in the 1980s with a nos­tal­gic sound­track cour­tesy of The Smiths. The film cen­tres on mother Gina (Sheri­dan Smith), whose de­clin­ing men­tal health im­pacts on her abil­ity to take care of her brood in­clud­ing her daugh­ter Alice (Ella Hunt). While Alice con­tends with grow­ing pains, Gina nur­tures a bur­geon­ing ob­ses­sion with a lo­cal weath­er­man, which iso­lates her from the peo­ple who care the most.

Rami Malek gives a star-mak­ing per­for­mance as Fred­die Mer­cury

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