Four new films to stream this weekend

Irresistible, Eurovision Song Contest, Fanny Lye Deliver’d, Just Don’t Think I’ll Scream

Chris Cooper and Steve Carell in Irresistible

Chris Cooper and Steve Carell in Irresistible

 

IRRESISTIBLE ★★★☆☆
Directed by Jon Stewart. Starring Steve Carell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, Mackenzie Davis, Topher Grace, Natasha Lyonne. VOD, 102 min
Carell and Byrne play warring political advisers dispatched to a town where a local veteran (Cooper) pops up as a potential Democrat candidate for mayor in a conservative Wisconsin town. The final impression is of a thesis only partially expanded into satisfactory dramedy, but, thanks to casting in depth and good writing on a line-by-line basis, Irresistible never feels like a chore. We are, however, once again left puzzled by the liberal elite’s ambivalence about middle America. Do they love them or hate them? DC

EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA ★★★☆☆
Directed by David Dobkin. Starring Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Pierce Brosnan, Dan Stevens, Demi Lovato, Graham Norton, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson. Netflix, 123 min

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Marrying the naivety of Elf’s Buddy and the obliviousness of Talledega Night’s Ricky Bobby, Lars (Ferrell) is an aspiring musician who has longed to represent Iceland at the Eurovision since seeing Abba perform Waterloo. Eurovision superfans will find more than one thrilling cameo in this good-natured comedy, inspired by the planet’s most beloved song contest. There’s a pleasing familiarity to the Ferrell fool at the heart of The Story of Fire Saga. And at 52, his manbabies have an additionally appealing absurdity. TB

FANNY LYE DELIVER’D ★★★☆☆
Directed by Thomas Clay. Starring Maxine Peake, Charles Dance, Freddie Fox, Tanya Reynolds, Peter McDonald, Zak Adams. VOD, 112 min

Maxine Peake in Fanny Lye Deliver’d
Maxine Peake in Fanny Lye Deliver’d

It’s 1657 and rural Shropshire in post-civil war England is a crazy place. One mightn’t know as much watching the opening sequence, in which the title character (Peake) grimly attends to her stern Puritan husband (Dance) and her duties of their muddy farm. Fanny Lye Deliver’d was a labour of love for Clay, who wrote, directed, edited and scored. That may sound obsessive, but it makes for the dampest spectacle of the year. To watch Giorgos Arvanitis’s cinematography is to shiver. An odd, scary, rheumatic gem. TB

JUST DON’T THINK I’LL SCREAM ★★★☆☆
Directed by Frank Beauvais. Mubi, 85 min 

Just Don't Think I'll Scream
Just Don't Think I'll Scream

Beauvais, a critic and programmer, tells us about his life over images from some of the 400 films he watched while living miserably in Alsace. The endless introspection suggest another effusion of the current vogue for “literary nonfiction”. The best of those autobiographical screeds offer new angles on ancient neuroses, but, though he is moving about his father’s death, Beauvais skates too closely to the cliches of the bolshie French intellectual. An interesting oddity nonetheless. DC

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