Four new films to stream this week

Cruella, I Used to Be Normal, Earwig and the Witch, Alex Ferguson: Never Give In

Emma Stone in Cruella

Emma Stone in Cruella

 

CRUELLA ★★★☆☆
Directed by Craig Gillespie. Starring Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mark Strong. Disney+, 134 min
Modestly enjoyable though absurdly overlong attempt to patch in the early life of Cruella de Vil before the action of One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The 1970s ambience is fun. The music supervision is impeccable. Stone works hard at the lead role. But the writers fail in their (to be fair) impossible brief. How do you make a tween-friendly, feminist girl-boss of a puppy-killing psychopath? Maybe she has multiple personality disorder. Maybe she’s Batman. Maybe she’s Catwoman. Shall we just get Emma Thompson to do the Cruella stuff? Makes no sense. Full review DC

I USED TO BE NORMAL: A BOYBAND FANGIRL STORY ★★★★☆
Directed by Jessica Leski. Video on demand, 96 min

I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story
I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story

One occasionally worries that this Australian documentary on boyband obsessions is on the point of poking fun at its participants. But that never happens. Though the film is full of laugh-out-loud moments, it remains respectful to the consistently impressive fans. It helps that each is admirably self-aware. They understand their fandom may have got a little out of hand. Leski does not laugh at them, but they will occasionally laugh at themselves. A useful and humane study that takes us from The Beatles right up to One Direction. Full review DC

EARWIG AND THE WITCH ★★★☆☆
Directed by Gorô Miyazaki. Voices of Taylor Paige Henderson, Vanessa Marshall, Dan Stevens, Richard E Grant, Kacey Musgraves, JB Blanc. Video on demand, 85 min

Earwig and the Witch
Earwig and the Witch

Following Howl’s Moving Castle, Earwig and the Witch is the second Studio Ghibli adaptation of a novel by Diana Wynne Jones. Earwig is the daughter of a Riot Grrl witch, who, as the film opens, leaves her on the doorstep of St Morwald’s Home for Children with a note: “Got the other 12 witches all chasing me. I’ll be back for her when I’ve shook them off.” The first entirely CG project to emerge from Ghibli is told in the anarchic, pop-soundtracked style of The Monkees. Never mind the purists. Kids will love it. Full review TB

ALEX FERGUSON: NEVER GIVE IN ★★★☆☆
Directed by Jason Ferguson. Featuring Alex Ferguson, Cathy Ferguson, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, Jason Ferguson. Amazon Prime, 100 min

Alex Ferguson: Never Give In
Alex Ferguson: Never Give In

If you’re after boot room bust-ups with Rooney or Keane, you won’t find them here. The hairdryer has seldom seemed balmier than it does in this documentary portrait of Manchester United’s longest-serving gaffer. Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona pay homage. Mostly though Alex Ferguson: Never Give In – directed by Ferguson’s son Jason – is an intimate affair. An opening barrage of rapid-fire questions establishes the subject’s infallible memory. May 5th, 2018, however, is a blank. The potentially fatal brain haemorrhage that Ferguson suffers that day provides a framing device for this solidly constructed biopic. Full review TB

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.