Four new films to stream this weekend

Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal, Henry Glassie: Fieldwork, Love and Monsters

Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

 

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN ★★★★☆
Directed by Emerald Fennell. Starring Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Laverne Cox, Connie Britton, Alfred Molina. Sky Cinema/Now TV, 113 min
Fennell’s Fanta-coloured melodrama (or pitch-black comedy?) stars Mulligan as an ingenious spirit, intent on revenging the unpunished rape of an old college friend. She lures men into transgression. She terrifies a guilty mother. Ultimately she works up the most complex of melodramatic spectacles. The plot does strange credulity, but Fennell is working in the area of Jacobean revenge tragedy – the convolutions and unreasonable punishments are a pleasure in themselves. Mulligan excels as at least three variations on the title character: sarky daughter, faux-victim, unforgiving distaff Titus Andronicus. You won’t be bored. Nominated for five Oscars. DC

SOUND OF METAL ★★★★☆
Directed by Darius Marder. Starring Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Lauren Ridloff and Mathieu Amalric. Amazon Prime, 120 min

Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal
Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal

Powerful, original, compelling drama – nominated for six Oscars – about a rock drummer dealing with hearing loss. This sure-footed debut from Marder required a decade of redrafts and research; its adherence to debates within the deaf community is one of its great strengths. It’s main draw, however, is Riz Ahmed, who learned drumming and ASL for the lead role. The London-born star of Rogue One is remarkable as Ruben, a musician and recovering addict who cuts a vulnerable figure even behind the “Please Kill Me” tattoo across his chest. One of a kind. TB

HENRY GLASSIE: FIELDWORK ★★★★☆
Directed by Pat Collins. Featuring Henry Glassie, Pravina Shulka. VOD, 105 min

Henry Glassie: Fieldwork
Henry Glassie: Fieldwork

Collins, among our finest filmmakers, offers a characteristically original study of the great American folklorist Henry Glassie. It is a good 45 minutes before we get a substantial contribution from the subject. Much of that opening section is taken up with footage of artists creating work: a Brazilian develops religious images; another artist carves masterpieces from wood. We thus get a sense not just of what Glassie studies but of what he actually does: remain quiet and watch attentively. Educative, healing. DC

LOVE AND MONSTERS ★★★☆☆
Directed by Michael Matthews. Starring Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Dan Ewing, Ariana Greenblatt, Michael Rooker. Netflix, 109 min

Dylan O’Brien in Love and Monsters
Dylan O’Brien in Love and Monsters

Spielbergian post-apocalyptic fantasy that makes a dystopian future blighted by genetically mutated beasties look like good clean fun. O’Brien is the young hero, making his way past giant slugs in an attempt to reunite with his true love. The creatures may be all-ages fun, but the cannibalisation of everything from Zombieland to The Goonies is chewy. Screenwriters Brian Duffield and Matthew Robinson have crafted a ruthlessly efficient, entirely generic script. It’s fortunate that O’Brien has enough goofy charm to hold the plundered Build-a-Bear bits together. TB

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