Six of the best films to see in cinemas this weekend

New this weekend: At Eternity’s Gate, Dumbo, The Man Who Wanted to Fly, Being Frank

The official trailer for The Man Who Wanted to Fly, the story of Bobby Coote - a farmer from Co Cavan with a decades old dream of learning to fly. Video: Galway Film Fleadh

 

AT ETERNITY’S GATE ★★★★☆
Directed by Julian Schnabel. Starring Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Niels Arestrup
There are some of the usual visual correlatives in Schnabel’s Vincent Van Gogh biopic – the yellow room has rarely been yellower – but there is much more besides. Here is a film that makes a genuine effort to engage with the artist’s mental torments while putting forward fresh (albeit contentious) suggestions about his route to a bloody death. It’s an attractive piece of work as well as a thoughtful one. Dafoe excels as the painter. 12A cert, lim release, 111 min. Full review DC

DUMBO ★★★☆☆
Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Eva Green, Alan Arkin, Nico Parker, Finley Hobbins, Roshan Seth

The new Dumbo does hit many of the familiar beats. Had Tim Burton and his team cut Baby Mine they would have deserved any horsewhipping that came their way. But we should be grateful that, unlike the recent Beauty and the Beast, this is not a straight retread of the original. Burton makes good use of his cast: Farrell is sympathetic as a circus all-rounder; Green is glamorous. Unfortunately, Dumbo himself is stranded in the unhappy valley between anthropomorphism and verisimilitude. PG cert, gen release, 112 min. Full review DC

THE MAN WHO WANTED TO FLY ★★★★☆
Directed by Frank Shouldice. Featuring Bobby Coote, Ernie Coote

For 50 years and more, Bobby Coote has dreamed of flying. Shot over five years, this delightful documentary follows the Co Cavan octogenarian on his eventful journey to the clouds But this is not just Bobby’s story: His 80-something brother Ernie thinks Bobby is a genius yet believes that flying is best left to the birds. Bobby is helped toward his goal by friends and neighbours and flying experts at Newtownards. Working with cinematographer Dave Perry and a lovable cast of characters, director Shouldice has fashioned both a marvellous feel-good movie and a compelling portrait of life in rural Ireland. 12A cert, gen release, 86 min. Full review/trailer TB

BEING FRANK: THE CHRIS SIEVEY STORY ★★★★☆
Directed by Steve Sullivan. Featuring Jon Ronson, John Cooper Clarke, Paula Sievey, Martin Sievey, Johnny Vegas, Ross Noble, John Thomson, Dave Arnold

A documentary on Frank Sidebottom, the macrocephalic alter ego of Chris Sievey, was always going to deal in oddities. The loose inspiration for Lenny Abrahamson’s Frank, Mr Sidebottom was an unshakable presence in English popular culture from 1984 until his creator’s death in 2010. Such venerable experts as Cooper Clarke, John Thomson and Ronson (co-writer of Frank) turn up for an engrossing study of the creative fecundity that gathered around Manchester in the post-punk years. Essential for fans. 15A cert, lim release, 105 min DC

LORDS OF CHAOS ★★★★☆
Directed by Jonas Åkerlund. Starring Rory Culkin, Emory Cohen, Jack Kilmer, Sky Ferreira

Music video veteran Åkerlund’s account of the pandemonium that defined black metal in late 1980s Norway is, by turns, grisly, grim, and darkly hilarious. As narrated by black metal pioneer and guitarist Euronymous (Culkin), Lords of Chaos charts the turbulent relationship between Euronymous and the intense neo-Nazi bass player Varg Vikernes (Cohen). When Euronymous founds his band Mayhem various line-up changes ensue in the struggle to be the most metal of them all. Åkerlund accentuates the squabbling, misogynist clubhouse mentality of what became the “Black Circle”. The kids are not alright, but they are, nonetheless, just kids. 18 cert, lim release, 118 min. Full review TB

US ★★★★☆
Directed by Jordan Peele. Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright-Joseph

Peele follows up the era-defining Get Out with a horror film about an African-American family meeting their doubles while on holiday. Us follows in a grand tradition of doppelgänger horrors that stretches back to The Student of Prague over a hundred years ago. Michael Abels’s choral jabs increase the unease. Mike Gioulakis’s camera risks impenetrable levels of darkness. Nyong’o is stunning in twin roles. But the film does lack its predecessor’s satirical punch. 16 cert, gen release, 116 min. Full review DC

Other ★★★★★ and ★★★★☆ films out and about: Border, The Camino Voyage, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Capernaum, The Favourite, Free Solo, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, The Kindergarten Teacher, The White Crow

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