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

New this week: The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Black 47, Puzzle

This lady’s not for turning: Chloë Grace Moretz in The Miseducation of Cameron Post

This lady’s not for turning: Chloë Grace Moretz in The Miseducation of Cameron Post

 

THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST ★★★★
Directed by Desiree Akhavan. Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, John Gallagher, Jr, Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, Marin Ireland, Owen Campbell, Kerry Butler, Quinn Shephard, Emily Skeggs, Melanie Ehrlich, Jennifer Ehle. 16 cert, limited release, 91 min
This Sundance-winning drama, based on the book by Emily M Danforth, follows the titular Montana teen to a Christian conversion “therapy” camp after her lesbian relationship with her best friend is dramatically – excruciatingly – discovered at a homecoming dance. Moretz, Lane and Goodluck are outstanding. Taking cues from director Akhavan’s delicately poised, observational humour, Ashley Connor’s cinematography gleams from where there ought to be gloom. An effective, touching drama that also manages to engage with pressing social issues. Full review TB

BLACK 47 ★★★★
Directed by Lance Daly. Starring Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, Sarah Greene, Jim Broadbent. 15A cert, general release, 99 min

The first widely released feature to focus on the Great Famine is an unmistakable genre piece. It’s The Outlaw Josey Wales with fewer Comanches but more rain. Weaving is the weathered cop pursuing Frecheville’s bereaved avenger across the devastated west of Ireland. At times, the determination to include every historical detail causes the package to strain. But the grey pools of Declan Quinn’s cinematography and the evocative strains of Brian Byrne’s score keep the brain twitching in even the glummest moments. Full review/trailer DC

PUZZLE ★★★★
Directed by Marc Turtletaub. Starring Kelly Macdonald, David Denman, Daniel Sherman, Austin Abrams, Bubba Weiler. 15A cert, general release, 103 min

Kelly Macdonald in Puzzle

When I say that Puzzle is not at all what you’d expect from a film about the competitive jigsaw-puzzling community, you will surely tick another cliched critical gag off a too-long list. But it really isn’t. Macdonald is delightful and touching as a middle-aged mom who, unaware that life has passed her by, finds enlightenment while indulging in just that pastime. The jigsaw stuff is largely incidental to a well-wrought feminist fable. DC

COLD WAR/ZIMNA WOJNA ★★★★★
Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. Starring Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc. 15A cert, IFI/Light House, Dublin, 85 min

Nobody does doomed romance better than Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love), and Cold War is his doomiest romance yet. Love is not enough in this sorrowful, swooning Soviet-era drama concerning composer and pianist Wiktor (Kot) and the blonde, cherubic singer-dancer Zula (the mesmerising Kulig) who heads his folk ensemble. When the troupe reaches East Berlin, the pair have a clear chance to defect but it soon becomes clear that only one of them has any desire to cross the Iron Curtain. Thus begins a decade of border-crossing, partings and reunions. Almost indecently moving and easily one of the films of the year. Full review TB

I, DOLOURS ★★★★
Directed by Maurice Sweeney. Featuring Dolours Price, Lorna Larkin, Enda Oates, Gail Brady, Lauren Beale. 15A cert, limited release, 83 min

Constructed around a lengthy interview between veteran journalist Ed Moloney and the late IRA volunteer Dolours Price, Sweeney’s picture confirms the subject as a fiercely articulate woman with a chilling certainty of purpose. I, Dolours does more. In charting Price’s journey from civil rights activist to convicted bomber to peace process sceptic, it offers an efficient history of the entire conflict. The reconstructions are unnecessary, but this remains an essential watch for anyone with even a faint interest in the Troubles. Full review DC

SEARCHING ★★★★
Directed by Aneesh Chaganty. Starring John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La, Sara Sohn. 12A cert, general release, 102 min

Following on the unlovely Unfriended: Dark Web, this is the second (and superior) recent film to be “set entirely on a computer screen”, with super-producer Timur Bekmambetov attached. Is John Cho the first Asian actor leading a Hollywood thriller? Throughout this nifty picture, Cho is easily the equal of Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson in the “What have you done with my wife/daughter?” stakes, as he moves through fraught, agitated, heartbroken, demented, and desperate states of mind. The Alfred P Sloan Prize-winning screenplay crafts a modern Rear Window from video chats, social media accounts, Gmail and even online pop-ups. Full review TB

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