Four new films to see this week

House of Gucci, Encanto and JFK Revisited in cinemas, Bruised on Netflix

Lady Gaga in House of Gucci

Lady Gaga in House of Gucci

 

HOUSE OF GUCCI ★★☆☆☆
Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons, Salma Hayek, Al Pacino. 15A cert, gen release, 159 min
Unwieldy tale of intrigue within the eponymous fashion house. This is a grisly carnival of poorly executed and just bad ideas. It’s difficult to count the ways in which House of Gucci is undeserving of your time: The cosplay versions of Anna Wintour, André Leon Talley and other fashion folks! The prescriptive, entirely anachronistic musical cues! Pity Lady Gaga. She stayed in character for 18 months (!) ahead of this grim enterprise. But which character? The terrible, wholly inconsistent script can’t decide if she is Lady Macbeth, a First Wives Club reject, or a cartoon character. Full review TB

ENCANTO ★★★☆☆
Directed by Byron Howard, Jared Bush, Charise Castro Smith. Voices of Stephanie Beatriz, John Leguizamo, María Cecilia Botero, Diane Guerrero, Jessica Darrow. PG cert, gen release, 99 min

Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz) in Encanto
Mirabel (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz) in Encanto

The new animation from Disney concerns the Madrigals, a family who live in an enchanted enclave in the mountains of Colombia. As each family member comes of age, they are granted a magical ability. But why has young Mirabel no particular gift? There is, alas, no trace of adventure or hint of jeopardy. The narrative thrust and subplots are wholly reliant on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s song lyrics, without which we’d be lucky to distinguish one character from another. But the colourful production design is eye-popping and the voice cast charming. Full review TB

BRUISED ★★★☆☆
Directed by Halle Berry. Starring Halle Berry, Shamier Anderson, Adan Canto, Sheila Atim, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Valentina Shevchenko. Netflix, 138 min

Halle Berry and Valentina Shevchenko in Bruised
Halle Berry and Valentina Shevchenko in Bruised

Berry’s solid directorial debut concerns the struggles of a washed-up MMA fighter to get back on top while raising the son she gave up for adoption years earlier. All the boxing movie cliches are here; we even get a training montage. But the impressive depictions of blue-collar America – the film stock seems as bruised as the combatants – and the excellent closing brawl make up for all that. It would be ungallant to mention the star’s age, but let us say Ms Berry convinces in a role that would test many 10 years her junior. Full review DC

 JFK REVISITED: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS ★★☆☆☆
Directed by Oliver Stone. Featuring Oliver Stone, John R Tunheim, Henry Lee, Robert F Kennedy Jr, James K Galbraith, David Talbot. 15A cert, limited release, 118 min

Oliver Stone in JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass
Oliver Stone in JFK Revisited: Through the Looking Glass

Belated documentary follow-up to JFK spreads more conspiracies about magic bullets and exit wounds. Unlike JFK, which at least had the virtue of vulgar flamboyance, Through the Looking Glass plays out like a high-end YouTube video. The interviewees seem like serious-minded people. But, as has been the case for close to 60 years, we are left with a jumble of loosely connected discrepancies that will do little to persuade those who expect everyday existence to be just that chaotic. Much of these theories are now orthodoxies. Where’s the shock value? Full review DC

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