User Menu

Six of the best films to see at the cinema this weekend

New this week: The return of the skinjobs, the real Arab women of Israel, and zany anime

Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049

BLADE RUNNER 2049 ★★★★
Directed by Denis Villeneuve. Starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista. 15A cert, general release, 163 min

Ryan Gosling’s deadened quality suits a character who (we assume, anyway) is not a paid-up member of the human race. Photograph: Stephen Vaughan/Warner Bros/AP

The much hyped, much delayed sequel to Blade Runner is endlessly beautiful and endlessly endless. Gosling plays a blade runner who discovers a leap in replicant biology. The subsequent investigations shake the foundations of a powerfully imagined world. The plot starts from a strong place, but there are nowhere near enough complications to justify the enormous running time. Most viewers will, however, be sufficiently distracted by the visual invention to remain hooked throughout. Review/Trailer DC

IN BETWEEN ★★★★
Directed by Maysaloun Hamoud. Starring Mouna Hawa, Shaden Kanboura, Sana Jammelieh. Club, limited release, 96 min
 

In Between

In Between, which concerns three young Arab women sharing an apartment in Tel Aviv, opens with a stern lecture and a sugar wax that’s so vigorous you fear it will end with corrective skin grafting: “Don’t raise your voice; men don’t like women with raised voices; remember to always say a kind word and cook him good food.” Ironies abound. What follows is fun, original and sufficiently spiky to earn its director a fatwa. Review TB

THE NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL ★★★★
Directed by Masaaki Yuasa. 15A cert, limited release, 93 min

The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl: a riot of colours and abstractions

“I’m always absorbed in interesting things,” says Otome, the adventurous spirit at the heart of this zippy, zany new film from animator and screenwriter Yuasa. The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, set in the same universe as the award-winning 2010 anime The Tatami Galaxy, is a riot of colours and abstractions. Swirling backgrounds and psychedelic cutaways recall such 1960s Bacchanalia as Yellow Submarine, but with added Japanoise of cherry blossoms and daruma dolls. Review TB

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN ★★★
Directed by Simon Curtis. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald, Will Tilston Alex Lawther, Stephen Campbell Moore, Vicki Pepperdine. PG cert, general release, 109 min

Domhnall Gleeson and Will Tilston in Goodbye Christopher Robin

The John Lewis commercial has come early this year. Curtis’s take on the creation of Winnie the Pooh arrives soaked in the same aesthetic that drives that Christmas regular. Never has so much dappled light fallen so gracefully on so many fallen leaves. Gleeson convinces as a shell-shocked AA Milne and Lawther is touching as his exploitedd son (the real Christopher). But the overpowering sense of idyll works against the grimmer undercurrents. Review/Trailer DC

BRIMSTONE ★★★
Directed by Martin Koolhoven. Starring Dakota Fanning, Guy Pearce, Emilia Jones, Kit Harinton, Carice van Houten. Club, limited release, 148 min

Once upon a time in Jon Snow’s west: Kit Harington in Brimstone

Lengthy, grim Dutch western – told mostly backwards – concerning the pursuit of a young woman by a sinister preacher across mean bits of the US frontier. Fanning is excellent as the frightened young woman. Pearce is terrifying as the religious maniac. The film does, however, lack light and shade. It’s a wearing, grey struggle from beginning to end (or end to beginning). But it is worth sticking with for its pessimistic feminism and inventive violence. Certainly unlike anything else out there. Review DC

DAPHNE ★★★★
Directed by Pete Mackie Burns. Starring Emily Beecham, Geraldine James, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Nathaniel Martello-White, Osy Ikhile, Sinead Matthews. Club, limited release, 87 min

Emily Beecham as a thoroughly modern Millie

A thirtysomething Londoner who quotes Slavoj Zizek, Daphne (Beecham) seems to be wasted in her kitchen job. Or perhaps the kitchen job is wasted on her? This anti-Bridget Jones drinks too much and casually does hook-ups and drugs, but not to tragic or destructive effect. There’s quite rightly a great deal of buzz around Peter Mackie Burns’s spiky debut feature. Daphne is a character study that, much like its titular subject, refuses to conform to neat, trite expectations. Review TB