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

New this week: The Shape of Water is a fish-meets-female fantasy that dives deep into romance

Official trailer for The Shape of Water.

 

THE SHAPE OF WATER ★★★★
Directed by Guillermo del Toro. Starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer. 15A cert, general release, 123 min

Hawkins plays a lonely mute janitor who falls for a (literally) fishy humanoid imprisoned in a CIA research centre during the cold war. Anybody who savoured Del Toro’s work on Pan’s Labyrinth will be at home in The Shape of Water’s green universe. Alexandre Desplat’s score wheezes warmly beneath a story that powers towards an epiphany so inevitable that . . . Well, if you haven’t worked that out we won’t spoil it for you. Maybe it’s a bit too cosy. Remarkable nonetheless. Review/Trailer DC

GOLDSTONE ★★★★
Directed by Ivan Sen. Starring Aaron Pedersen, Alex Russell, David Gulpilil, Jacki Weaver, David Wenham. Club, Access Cinema (accesscinema.ie), 110 min

Detective Jay Swan (Pedersen), the quiet avenging cop at the centre of director Ivan Sen’s 2013 thriller Mystery Road, arrives in an outback mining town to investigate the disappearance of a missing Chinese girl, likely the victim of human trafficking. There is skullduggery afoot involving a prostitution ring, the local mining company and the Aboriginal council. Will the local cop (Russell) provide assistance? Or is he in cohoots with the crooked mayor (Weaver) and the mining boss? TB

HEARTSTONE ★★★
Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson. Starring Baldur Einarsson, Blær Hinriksson, Diljá Valsdóttir, Katla Njalddottir. Club, limited release, 129 min

Familiar gay coming-of-age story concerning two youths in a remote maritime corner of Iceland. Guðmundsson just about makes the old songs new again. He is assisted by unforgiving camerawork from Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, who shot the excellent Rams, which invites the harsh Icelandic coastline to sound bass notes beneath the developing drama. The kids are great and the adults just as good. It is a little overlong, though. DC

BLACK PANTHER ★★★
Directed by Ryan Coogler. Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker. 12A cert, general release, 134 min

Marvel’s first outing with a black protagonist stars Chadwick Boseman as an African king who, from time to time, fights oppression as the lithe Black Panther. Ryan Coogler has as much right to direct a so-so children’s film as the next chap, but a little more roughage would have been nice. It’s efficient, fun and very well acted. But the excess of CGI is suffocating and the surface plot is impossible to care about. Just good enough. Review/Trailer DC

LOVELESS ★★★★★
Directed by Alexey Zvyagintsev. Starring Maryana Spivak, Alexey Rozin, Matvey Novikov. 16 cert, IFI/Light House, Dublin, 127 min

Hugely powerful drama concerning a warring Moscow couple creepily unmoved by the disappearance of their young son. This damply beautiful film has much to say about the current state of Russia. Loveless is, however, more about the personal than the public. We have rarely encountered a film that so powerfully exercises Philip Larkin’s argument about man handing misery on to man. Up to the standard’s of the same director’s Elena and Leviathan. 16 cert, QFT, Belfast; IFI/Light House, Dublin, 127 min Review DC

WINCHESTER ★★★
Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig. Starring Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Jason Clarke. 15A cert, general release, 98 min

The Winchester Mystery House is a genuine Californian mansion and was once the family residence of Sarah Winchester, widow of the firearm magnate William Winchester. According to legend and codswallop, the property is haunted by the ghosts of those killed with Winchester rifles. Mirren is nicely game as the surviving widow Winchester in a broad spookfest from the team behind Daybreakers. Dumb fun for the long nights. Review TB

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