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

New this weekend: Misbehaviour, The Hunt, Bacurau, Calm with Horses, And Then We Danced

Liberating: Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Misbehaviour

Liberating: Keira Knightley and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Misbehaviour

 

MISBEHAVIOUR ★★★★☆
Directed by Philippa Lowthorpe. Starring Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jessie Buckley, Keeley Hawes, Phyllis Logan, Lesley Manville, Rhys Ifans, Greg Kinnear. 12A cert, gen release, 106 min
A crowd-pleasing dramatisation of the Women’s Liberation Movement’s entertaining disruption of the 1970 Miss World contest. Misbehaviour pitches a mismatched group of fed-up women against the BBC, Bob Hope (Kinnear) and Eric Morley (Ifans, having a ball), who founded the tacky Bmeat market alongside his wife (Hawes). Sally Alexander (Knightley) is a history student scolded for her “bit niche” dissertation on women’s role in the labour movement. Buckley is Jo Robinson, a thrilling, leafleting powerhouse. The comedy finds an interesting intersectional dimension in Jennifer Holsten (Mbatha-Raw, stately even during the swimsuit section), who, as Miss Grenada, was the first woman of colour to win Miss World. Makes for especially mortifying viewing in a country where a two-day beauty pageant is still a ratings winner. TB

THE HUNT ★★★★☆
Directed by Craig Zobel. Starring Betty Gilpin, Ike Barinholtz, Emma Roberts, Hilary Swank, Justin Hartley, Amy Madigan, Glenn Howerton. 18 cert, gen release, 90 min

Hilary Swank in The Hunt
Hilary Swank in The Hunt

Stonking thriller concerning a cadre of liberals who hunt Donald Trump supporters for sport. If The Hunt is right-wing propaganda, then it is of a sort that liberals have long feared: funny, fast-moving, sharply acted and stuffed with Tom-and-Jerry violence. In truth, The Hunt is something much more controversial than that. As social media divides the world’s populace into ever-more discrete camps, the picture dares – as the best satire should – to take digs at absurdities on all sides. A disgraceful hoot. Full review DC

BACURAU ★★★★★
Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho, Juliano Dornelles. Starring Sônia Braga, Udo Kier, Bárbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, Silvero Pereira, Karine Teles. 18 cert, QFT, Belfast; IFI/Light House, Dublin, 131 min

Udo Kier in Bacurau
Udo Kier in Bacurau

In this Balsonaro-era sci-fi set in the not-too-distant future. Teresa (Colen) returns home to rural Brazil for her grandmother’s funeral. But why has the town disappeared from Google Maps? Why do all the mobile phones no longer work? What is that strange object hovering in the sky? Who are those strangers on motorbikes? These sinister goings-on are compounded by the arrival of – be very afraid – Udo Kier as an American “businessman”. Bacurau has more in common with Rambo and Assault on Precinct 13 than one might expect from a Cannes Jury Prize-winning political allegory. Powered by grindhouse tricks amd spitting fury, it’s the spaghetti-splatter-arthouse-sci-fi-horror of the year. Full review TB

CALM WITH HORSES ★★★☆☆
Directed by Nick Rowland. Starring Cosmo Jarvis, Barry Keoghan, Niamh Algar, Ned Dennehy, David Wilmot, Kiljan Tyr Moroney, Brid Brennan, Simone Kirby. 16 cert, gen release, 100 min

Niamh Algar and Cosmo Jarvis in Calm with Horses
Niamh Algar and Cosmo Jarvis in Calm with Horses

Jarvis is hypnotically strong as a hulking, erratically tempered bruiser named Arm. He and his irresponsible pal Dympna (Keoghan), agents of a horrible crime clan, get drawn into the worst sort of mayhem when asked to respond to the apparent mistreatment of a girl at a house party somewhere down the country. The characters are strong. The atmosphere is terrific. None of that can, however, compensate for a sense of drift that set in over the last 20 minutes. Full review DC

AND THEN WE DANCED ★★★☆☆
Directed by Levan Akin. Starring Levan Gelbakhiani, Bachi Valishvili, Ana Javakishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, Ninutsa Gabisonia. QFT, Belfast; IFI, Dublin, 106 min

Levan Gelbakhiani in And Then We Danced
Levan Gelbakhiani in And Then We Danced

Drama from Georgia concerning a folk dancer (Gelbakhiani) who, in a country that frowns upon homosexuality, embarks on a dangerous relationship with a colleague. Gelbakhiani is so charming and so elegant that we hardly mind the plot’s pedestrian progress to an expected destination. And Then We Danced is a film full of life, emotion and – though the authorities may not like to hear it – uninhibited sexuality. Having endured riots at domestic screenings, it has earned our more sober attentions. DC

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE/PORTRAIT DE LA JEUNE FILLE EN FEU ★★★★★
Directed by by Céline Sciamma. Starring Noémie Merlant, Adèle Haenel, Valeria Golino. 16 cert, QFT, Belfast; Triskel, Cork; IFI/Light House, Dublin, 122 min

Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant in Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant in Portrait of a Lady on Fire

“He chooses the memory of her. That’s why he turns. He doesn’t make the lover’s choice, but the poet’s.” Marianne says this of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice as Héloïse reads it to her. It’s an interpretation that doubles as an organising principle for Sciamma’s ravishing historical romance composed of indelible images, not least the painting of the title. In the late 1800s, Marianne (Merlant) , a young painter, arrives on a island off the coast of Brittany. She has been commissioned by a countess (Golino) to create a wedding portrait of her daughter Héloïse (Haenel) for a Milanese nobleman. But Héloïse does not wish to be married off and refuses to pose for the portrait. So Marianne is instructed to paint her in secret. As the young women spend time together, they fall in love. Elegantly structured and impossibly beautiful. Full review TB

Other ★★★★☆ and ★★★★★ films out and about: The Call of the Wild, Color Out of Space, Dark Waters, The Invisible Man, The Lighthouse, 1917, Parasite, True History of the Kelly Gang

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