Four new films to see this week

A Quiet Place II, The Father and Peter Rabbit 2 in cinemas, Ellie & Abbie on demand

Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou in A Quiet Place Part II

Cillian Murphy and Djimon Hounsou in A Quiet Place Part II

 

A QUIET PLACE PART II ★★★★☆
Directed by John Krasinski. Starring Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, John Krasinski. 15A cert, gen release, 97 min
Terrific follow up to Krasinski’s 2018 horror set in a world invaded by aliens with super-sensitive hearing. There are no great shifts in tone or unveilings of hitherto unsuspected subtext, but “more of the same” has rarely been carried off with such elan. After a thrilling, horrible prologue detailing the initial visitation, we follow our distressed family as they seek out a beacon broadcasting hope from a distant locale. The set-ups are every bit a tense as before. Murphy proves an excellent addition to the team. One could not ask for more from a sequel. Full review DC

THE FATHER ★★★★☆
Directed by Florian Zeller. Starring Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams. 12A cert, gen release, 97 min

Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins in The Father
Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Zeller adapts his own play concerning a man struggling with dementia. Much of the project’s power is derived from Anthony Hopkins’s Oscar-winning central performance. Where previous successful attempts to bring Alzheimer’s to the screen have, such as Away from Her, centred on the carer’s experience, The Father distorts and disorients in keeping with its protagonist’s increasingly confused view of the world. Hopkins’s angry old man could, equally, be the work of Joe Orton. Full review TB

PETER RABBIT 2 ★★★☆☆
Directed by Will Gluck. Starring Rose Byrne, Domhnall Gleeson, David Oyelowo, voices of Elizabeth Debicki, Margot Robbie, James Corden, Lennie James, Colin Moody. G cert, gen release, 93 min

Peter (James Corden) and Domhnall Gleeson in Peter Rabbit 2
Peter (James Corden) and Domhnall Gleeson in Peter Rabbit 2

The second instalment of this sarky rendering of Potter’s Peter Rabbit could be worse. Gluck, who presided over the disastrous 2014 adaptation of Annie and the misfiring comedies Friends with Benefits and Easy A, makes for a competent presence in the director’s chair. It’s the human stars, however, who truly shine. Gleeson finds fun new ways to fall over. Byrne delivers knowing lines with enough straight-faced sincerity to wring laughs. There are a few welcome japes at the expense of the “polarising” Corden, who again voices Peter. Full review TB

 ELLIE & ABBIE (& ELLIE’S DEAD AUNT) ★★★☆☆
Directed by Monica Zanetti. Starring Sophie Hawkshaw, Zoe Terakes, Marta Dusseldorp, Rachel House, Julia Billington, Bridie Connell. Premium Video on Demand, 80 min

Sophie Hawkshaw and Zoe Terakes in Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)
Sophie Hawkshaw and Zoe Terakes in Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie’s Dead Aunt)

Lovely Australian lesbian romcom concerning a shy young woman (Hawkshaw) as she struggles with asking a more confident school chum (Terakes) to the end-of-term dance. Meanwhile, her dead aunt offers advice. There is at least one clunky coincidence in the film’s closing act. But Ellie & Abbie – a rare film with no baddies – does a good job of exploring developments in gay culture through the dynamics of generic high school comedy. We even get a stereotypical “race to the airport” in the last 10 minutes. (It’s not an actual airport, but you surely get my meaning.) Full review DC

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