Four new films to see this week

M Night Shyamalan’s Old, plus I Never Cry, The World to Come, Air Conditioner

Old

Old

 

OLD ★★★☆☆
Directed by M Night Shyamalan. Starring Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Ken Leung, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Abbey Lee, Aaron Pierre. 16 cert, cinema release, 108 min
The latest from Shyamalan sends a varied group of complainers to a beach where time seems to pass bizarrely quickly: an entire life can pass in a day. There is little chance that this extended Twilight Zone episode will return the director to the glory days of The Sixth Sense, but it has enough fun with the high concept. Wounds heal weirdly quickly. Diseases escalate at a rush. The children are dramatically altered. There can never be a satisfactory explanation for it all, but the journey to inevitable disappointment is reasonably good fun. Full review DC

I NEVER CRY/JAK NAJDALEJ STAD ★★★★☆
Directed by Piotr Domalewski. Starring Zofia Stafiej, Kinga Preis, Cosmina Stratan, Shane Casey, Arkadiusz Jakubik. 12A cert, cinema and streaming release, 96 min

Zofia Stafiej in I Never Cry
Zofia Stafiej in I Never Cry

Touching, skilfully made drama about Ola (Stafiej), a Polish girl visiting Dublin to clear up the affairs of her estranged, recently deceased father. Shot in persistent greys and washed-out blues, the picture zings us rapidly through streets that, too befuddled by unhelpful jobsworths, Ola has little change to take in. Pay attention and you’ll catch a hurried sketch of the city. But I Never Cry works best as a showcase for a terrific young actor with a nuanced grasp of a complex character. “Fifty zloty for a pack of smokes!” You feel her pain. Full review DC

THE WORLD TO COME ★★★☆☆
Directed by Mona Fastvold. Starring Katherine Waterston, Vanessa Kirby, Casey Affleck, Christopher Abbott, AndreeaVasile. 15A cert, cinema release, 109 min

Vanessa Kirby in The World to Come
Vanessa Kirby in The World to Come

Elegant drama concerning two couples intertwining in rural 19th-century New York state. Fastvold and her team bring unexpected textures to what might have been routine LGBT period tragedy, with temporal skips, ecstatic voiceover, occasionally anachronistic phrasing, and Daniel Blumberg’s thoroughly modern score. Arriving as part of the recent vogue for historical lesbian romances, The World to Come is better than Ammonite and rather more carnal than the chilly Carol, if not nearly as swooning as Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The performances are expectedly powerful given the high-end personnel. Full review TB

AIR CONDITIONER/AR CONDICIONADO ★★★★☆
Directed by Fradique. Starring José Kiteculo, Filomena Manuel, David Caracol, Tito Spyck. Streaming on Mubi, 75 min

Filomena Manuel and José Kiteculo in Air Conditioner
Filomena Manuel and José Kiteculo in Air Conditioner

Pitched somewhere between sci-fi and magic realism, Air Conditioner is set in bustling city that finds itself with a disconcerting problem. As a radio announcer improbably reports, air conditioners are falling off buildings all over Angola, killing anyone unfortunate enough to be passing by at the wrong moment. Planned obsolescence has seldom been so murderous. Picture the red-pill-blue-pill moment of The Matrix restaged in Mr Benn’s shop among janky, possibly enchanted things crafted from old VHS players and car lights. It’s a triumph for art director Prudênciana Hach. Full review TB

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