Four new films to see in cinemas this week

The Innocents, Benediction, a-ha: The Movie, The Road Dance

THE INNOCENTS/DE USKYLDIGE ★★★★☆
Directed by Eskil Vogt. Starring Rakel Lenora Fløttum, Alva Brynsmo Ramstad, Mina Yasmin Bremseth Asheim, Sam Ashraf, Ellen Dorrit Pedersen, Morten Svartveit, Kadra Yusuf, Lisa Tønne. 15A cert, limited release, 118 min
Effective Norwegian horror following a group of children who are not like the rest of us. Vogt, the Oscar-nominated co-writer of The Worst Person in the World and long-time writing partner of director Joachim Trier, revisits some of the paranormal themes explored in Thelma, Trier's spooky 2017 drama about a disturbed young lesbian with mysterious powers. Those same abilities are far more disconcerting when attributed to pre-adolescents inclined to acting out, and lacking a mature sense of morality. Vogt coaxes impressive, carefully calibrated performances from his creepy young ensemble. TB

BENEDICTION ★★★★☆
Directed by Terence Davies. Starring Jack Lowden, Peter Capaldi, Jeremy Irvine, Calam Lynch, Tom Blyth, Simon Russell Beale, Matthew Tennyson, Kate Phillips, Ben Daniels, Geraldine James. 12A cert, limited release, 137 min

Bewitching biopic of English war poet Siegfried Sasoon (Lowden and later Capaldi) from one of English cinema's great originals. Working back projections, archival footage and troubling stills into the action, the picture has the quality of a collage in rough cross-cut triptych (there is a bit of Oh! What a Lovely War in the way ironically jaunty popular music is positioned). Sometimes the shifts can be jolting – and the middle section set among the "bright young things" is a bit repetitive – but Davies returns to familiar patterns in beautiful, sombre closing sequences that make overpowering use of Ralph Vaughn Williams. DC

A-HA: THE MOVIE ★★★★☆
Directed by Thomas Robsahm, Aslaug Holm. Featuring Morten Harket, Pål Waaktaar, Magne Furuholmen. 12A cert, gen release, 113 min

Documentary on the once hugely popular Norwegian band. Sadly, the film falls short of being a-ha's Some Kind of Monster. Despite occasional salty remarks and one uncomfortable scene when band members visibly stand in the opposite corners of a shared lift, the group – who travel separately toward dressing rooms – stay too far away from one another to allow for a cathartic moment. Add to that, certain individual tendencies (notably Morten's self-criticism) and we have lots of intrigue but no showdown. An entertaining chronicle of "musical differences" all the same. TB

THE ROAD DANCE ★★★☆☆
Directed by Richie Adams. Starring Hermione Corfield, Morven Christie, Sean Gilder, Ian Pirie, Jimmy Yuill, Tom Byrne, Luke Nunn. 15A cert, limited release, 117 min

Relentlessly old-fashioned drama concerning a young women from the Hebrides who falls into difficulties after her boyfriend goes off to fight in the first World War. None of the actors has more to work with than a broad type. The screenplay does move through one or two modestly arresting swerves, but we are more at home do drift than racing plot. Still, almost entirely set in the island community, The Road Dance delivers on its mission to entertain without defying any long-standing conventions. A pleasant slice of afternoon telly for the big screen. DC

Read More

Recommended