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

New this week: Golden Globe-winning 'Three Billboards' and what makes Eric Clapton tick

Trailer for the Martin McDonagh film, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

 

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI ★★★
Directed by Martin McDonagh. Starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas Hedges, Clarke Peters, Abbie Cornish, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, John Hawkes. 15A cert, general release, 115 min

McDonagh’s third film as director – already an awards monster – starts quite brilliantly. McDormand plays a desperate mother who refuses to take the murder of her daughter lying down. Harrelson is the decent police chief, Rockwell his racist deputy. Sadly the beautifully knotted narrative begins to fray over messier second and third acts. The uneasy treatment of racism becomes more noticeable. The improbable twists become harder to forgive. A shame. DC

A WOMAN’S LIFE/UNE VIE ★★★★
Directed by Stéphane Brizé. Starring Judith Chemla, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Yolande Moreau, Swann Arlaud, Nina Meurisse, Olivier Perrier, Clotilde Hesme, Alain Beigel, Finnegan Oldfield. Club, limited release, 119 min

Marvellous adaptation of Guy de Maupassant’s 1883 debut novel centres on Jeanne (Chemla), a young noblewoman who lives with her adoring parents – the Baron (Darroussin) and Baroness (Moreau) Le Perthuis des Vauds – at a Normandy chateau. As with everything else in this masterfully subtle film, Chemla (star of Camille Unwinds) mostly works in small movements as her character endures a series of misfortunes. More than heritage cinema. Review TB

ERIC CLAPTON: LIFE IN 12 BARS ★★★
Directed by Lili Fini Zanuck. Featuring Eric Clapton, Sylvia Clapton, Roger Waters, Pattie Boyd, Steve Winwood, BB King. 15A cert, limited release, 134 min

Rigorous, serious study of the man who over-zealous fans referred to as God (because he played the guitar so well). Contemporary fans may be a little disappointed with the film’s shut-up-and-play-the-hits focus on the earlier years. But even agnostics are likely to get caught up in the drama of Clapton’s painful upbringing and boozy, self-destructive years. He still can’t square his friendship with BB King and his transformation into a performer who proclaimed his admiration for Enoch Powell. A complex figure. Review TB

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD ★★★★
Directed by Ridley Scott. Starring Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Charlie Plummer, Romain Duris. 15A cert, general release, 132 min

Yes, this is the film that, after those disturbing revelations, caused Christopher Plummer to be swapped for Kevin Spacey in the role of billionaire John Paul Getty. It’s worth seeing for that performance and to appreciate the efficiency of the exchange. All the Money in the World, detailing the 1973 kidnapping of Getty’s grandson (the fine, unrelated Charlie Plummer), also happens to be Scott’s best film in a decade. Stylish, gripping and sound on the corrupting effects of wealth. Review DC

BRAD’S STATUS ★★★
Directed by Mike White. Starring Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Michael Sheen, Jenna Fischer, Luke Wilson, Jemaine Clement. 15A cert, limited release, 102 min
 

Brad’s Status casts the Zoolander star as the head of a nonprofit organisation who has lately begun to obsess over wealth, privilege and perceived inadequacies. At one point Stiller’s Brad has a breakdown when, mid-whine, his son’s friend calls him out on what she rightly identifies as “white privilege, male privilege, first-class problems”. Stiller and writer-director White have visited this territory before, but never with such grating effectiveness.Review TB

HUMAN FLOW ★★★★
Directed by Ai Weiwei. Club, limited release, 140 min

Shot in 23 countries over more than a year, the new magnificent, macrocosmic film from plucky Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei is as epic as cinema gets. An incredible chronicle of the 65 million people who are currently displaced around the world, Human Flow provides an essential visual guide to the near incomprehensible scale of the current migrant crisis. Review TB

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