Four new films to see this weekend

Bill & Ted in cinemas, Enola Holmes, Miss Juneteenth and Tesla streaming

Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in Bill & Ted Face the Music

Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in Bill & Ted Face the Music

 

BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC ★★★☆☆
Directed by Dean Parisot. Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Kristen Schaal, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Anthony Carrigan, Jillian Bell, William Sadler. PG cert, gen release, 93 min 
It’s 2020 and middle-aged dads Bill Preston (Winter) and Ted Logan (Reeves) are still trying to write the prophesied song that will unite the world. Long-awaited sequels are a tricky business. Arriving nearly 30 years after Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Face the Music is a whole telephone-booth jump from its predecessor and, we’re happy and relieved to report, an absolute delight. A surrounding constellation of funny women – including Schaal’s temporal tour guide and Bell’s alarmed therapist – bring a very female energy. TB

ENOLA HOLMES ★★★★☆
Directed by Harry Bradbeer. Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin, Helena Bonham Carter, Louis Partridge, Fiona Shaw, Frances de la Tour. Netflix, 122 min

Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin and Henry Cavill as Enola, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes
Millie Bobby Brown, Sam Claflin and Henry Cavill as Enola, Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes

Just when you think you’re all Sherlocked out, along comes Enola Holmes to steal some of her older brother’s thunder. Based on Nancy Springer’s series of novels, this all-ages crowd pleaser casts a thrillingly charismatic Millie Bobby Brown as the young proto-feminist sibling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous creation. Cavill is a dishy Sherlock and Bonham Carter her suffragette mum. Working from a lively script by Jack Thorne, director Bradbeer keeps up a rollicking pace. More please! TB 

MISS JUNETEENTH ★★★☆☆
Directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples. Starring Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze, Liz Mikel, Marcus Mauldin. VOD, 103 min 

Nicole Beharie in Miss Juneteenth
Nicole Beharie in Miss Juneteenth

The excellent Beharie plays Turquoise Jones, a youngish single mother raising a smart teenager called Kai Chikaeze) in an African-American suburb of Fort Worth, Texas. Fifteen years earlier, Turquoise won the Mis Juneteenth pageant, but she was unable to make good on her potential. Now she wants Kai to make up for her missteps. Bolstered by strong performances, the film creates a vivid portrayal of a community on the edge, but it fails to engage with the tricky business of pageant politics. DC

TESLA ★★★☆☆
Directed by Michael Almereyda. Starring Ethan Hawke, Eve Hewson, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Jim Gaffigan, Kyle MacLachlan. VOD, 102 min 

Ethan Hawke in Tesla
Ethan Hawke in Tesla

On hearing “I admire the ambition”, the reader may be forgiven for scouting out an exit. But we really should celebrate Almereyda’s efforts to avoid biopic tropes in his examination of scientist Nikola Tesla’s life and work. Interesting self-conscious games surround Hawke’s intense central performance. Hewson both plays a role in the drama and comments from the present. Some sets are pointedly theatrical. None of this can, however, entirely compensate for the wooden dialogue in the main body. DC

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