Four new films to see this week

Violent Night on wide release, Tori and Lokita and Three Minutes: A Lengthening in select cinemas, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover streaming

Tori and Lokita ★★★★☆

Directed by Luc Dardenne, Jean-Pierre Dardenne. Starring Pablo Schils, Mbundu Joely, Charlotte De Bruyne, Tijmen Govaerts Alban Ukaj. 15A cert, limited release, 89 min

Two African immigrants to Belgium struggle in the latest from two masters of the social-realist craft. It is an awful irony that almost everybody wants something from these kids who have literally nothing. There are flavours of Dickens in the way the pair’s relationship is centred as the only true thing in an otherwise fatally unkind society. The Dardennes’ flaw continues to be a reliance on unlikely contrivance. We get a bit of that here, but not since the first decade of the century – with searing dramas such as L’Enfant and The Son – have they delivered something so abrasively moving. DC

Three Minutes: A Lengthening ★★★★☆

Directed by Bianca Stigter. Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter. Limited release, 70 min

Inspired by Glenn Kurtz’s book Three Minutes in Poland: Discovering a Lost World in a 1938 Family Film, this moving film essay concerns a home movie, shot in the town of Nasielsk, Poland, by the author’s grandfather in the late 1930s. The three minutes of footage described in the title are mostly in colour and are the only known images of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk before the Holocaust. Mark Glynne’s sound design seamlessly marries Bonham Carter’s narration and unsentimental testimonies from survivors. TB


Violent Night ★★☆☆☆

Directed by Tommy Wirkola. Starring David Harbour, John Leguizamo, Cam Gigandet, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder, Edi Patterson, Beverly D’Angelo. 16 cert, gen release, 112 min

The unfunny, unexciting Violent Night fails to deliver on its substantial promise. We begin very much in Bad Santa territory with Harbour’s depressed St Nick drinking himself insensible in Bristol (of all places). Before long, he is fighting hoodlums trying to rob a wealthy family in Connecticut. It’s a bit Die Hard. It’s a bit Home Alone. The presence of D’Angelo nods to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Every now and then we get blistering violence or broad swearing to remind us we’re in 16-cert territory. An utter mess. DC

Lady Chatterley’s Lover ★★☆☆☆

Directed by Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. Starring Emma Corrin, Jack O’Connell, Matthew Duckett, Joely Richardson, Faye Marsey. Netflix, 126 min

Ordinary retread of the Lawrence warhorse that strays too close to Downton Abbey territory. Rest assured, Netflix consumers need not fear for the moral surety of the help. Save for a tasteful naked game of tag in the rain – all very much in keeping with Lawrence’s anti-industrialisation bent – this version would barely raise an NSFW flag. Screenwriter David Magee, whose most recent credit was Mary Poppins Returns, transforms the novel’s tragedy into a winsome romance, as amplified by cinematographer Benoît Delhomme gauzy pastorals and Isabella Summers’s twinkling piano. TB

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic