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

New this week: The Heiresses, Equalizer 2, The Guardians, The Eyes of Orson Welles

Trailer for The Equalizer 2 starring Denzel Washington as Robert McCall.

 

THE HEIRESSES/LAS HEREDERAS ★★★★
Directed by Marcelo Martinessi. Starring Ana Brun, Margarita Irún, Anna Ivanova, Nilda Gonzalez, María Martins, Alicia Guerra, Yverá Zayas. Club, IFI, Dublin, 98 min
Chela (Brun) and Chiquita (Irún) are two wealthy older lesbians living a life that is very much fur coat and no knickers. Now that Chela’s inheritance has dwindled, the women are slowly selling bits and pieces from their elegant home. When Chiquita is sent to debtors’ jail, Chela starts to drive her elderly neighbour to her weekly card game. This brings in a small income and allows her to befriend other women, including the ridiculously racy Angy (Ivanova), a bisexual with considerable flirtation skills. This Paraguayan award-winner is a welcome new entry into the same subgenre as Gloria and Aquarius. Full review TB

THE EQUALIZER 2 ★★★
Directed by Antoine Fuqua. Starring Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo, Orson Bean. 15A cert, general release, 121 min

In an age when far too many superheroes are brooding on rooftops, wandering in and out of each other’s movies and fending off intergalactic marauders, The Equalizer fulfils a far more straightforward function. He equalises things. It’s an elegant premise. Primal, even. As with its predecessor, The Equalizer 2 – hell yes, an honest, old-fashioned numbered sequel – stars Washington as Robert McCall, a former super soldier with mad skills in some kind of super-special ops. Denzel broods magnificently. Full review/trailer TB

THE GUARDIANS/LES GARDIENNES ★★★★
Directed by Xavier Beauvois. Starring Nathalie Baye, Laura Smet, Iris Bry, Cyril Descours, Nicolas Giraud, Olivier Rabourdin. Club, IFI, Dublin, 134 min

Working from a 1924 novel by Ernest Pérochon, Beauvois (Of Gods and Men) and editor/cowriter Marie-Julie Maille have crafted a historical chronicle of the women left behind in rural France during the first World War. A romance between a returning soldier and a farmhand adds drama to an immaculate and tasteful picture. Under the bucolic gaze of cinematographer Caroline Champetier (Holy Motors), there’s not a single frame of this historical drama that might not hang in a gallery collection titled “After Monet”. TB

THE EYES OF ORSON WELLES ★★★★
Directed by Mark Cousins. Featuring Orson Welles, Mark Cousins. Club, limited release, 115 min

Mark Cousins, the restless Northern Irish cineaste, has wisely structured his documentary around one, under-explored aspect of Orson Welles’ career: a collection of drawings and paintings that takes us through the entire life. The result is as idiosyncratic as we expect from Cousins – affectionate monologues delivered to “Dear Orson” – but the insights are sound, the wit effervescent and the research diligent. Much interesting material on Welles’ journeys in the west of Ireland. DC

UNDER THE TREE/UNDIR TRÉNU ★★★★★
Directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson. Starring Steinþór Hróar Steinþórsson, Edda Björgvinsdóttir, Sigurður Sigurjónsson, þorsteinn Bachmann, Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir, Selma Björnsdóttir. Club, IFI, Dublin, 89 min

What’s the most astonishing dark act of screen comedy you can think of? Think dirtier than The Dirties, holidaying with Sightseers, faultier than Fawlty Towers, terrorising with Four Lions. Under the Tree raises (or possibly lowers) the bar for the nastiest, meanest, pettiest act committed by seemingly ordinary folk. We’re told that good fences make for good neighbours, but even Trump’s wall couldn’t made a dent in the simmering feud at the black heart of this killer – literally and figuratively – Icelandic comedy. Unmissable. Full review/trailer TB

POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD ★★★
Directed by Wim Wenders. Featuring Pope Francis. PG cert, lim release, 96 min

Wenders talks to Pope Francis, intercutting the interview with footage of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s early life and monochrome recreations of St Francis of Assisi’s experiences. No film called A Man of His Word is going to draw much blood from the subject. Sure enough, Wenders lets him off on clerical abuse and includes no mention at all of abortion. The Pope still emerges as an impressive personality: engaged, intelligent, compassionate. Full review/trailer DC

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