Six of the best films to see this weekend

New this week: 9 to 5 rereleased and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs from the Coen brothers airs on Netflix

What a way to make a livin’: Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda in 9 to 5 (1980)

What a way to make a livin’: Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda in 9 to 5 (1980)

 

9 TO 5 ★★★★☆
Directed by Colin Higgins. Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Dabney Coleman, Elizabeth Wilson, Sterling Hayden. Club, limited release, 110 min
Next month marks 37 years since the release of this knockabout feminist comedy. Reissued as the centrepiece of BFI’s Comedy Genius blockbuster season, 9 to 5 retains a barbed relevance beneath its capering and unflattering hairstyles, and in Fonda, Tomlin and Parton, cinema’s most badass trio. The model of intersectionality and unionised labour that the women usher in – flexible work hour policy, maximum paid leave, in-house daycare, substance abuse and addiction counseling, and new hires that are diverse in race, gender, and physical ability – makes for the happiest possible ending. Well, except when Sterling Hayden, playing the company chairman, eliminates equal pay. TB

THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS ★★★☆☆
Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. Starring James Franco, Brendan Gleeson, Zoe Kazan, Liam Neeson, Tim Blake Nelson, Tom Waits, Tyne Daly, Jonjo O’Neill, Bill Heck, Harry Melling. Netflix, 133 min

The expanded hayseed universe of this western-themed portmanteau often feels closer to the ramblings of Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski than the psychogeography of True Grit or No Country for Old Men. There is endless fun to be had with the cod-Blood Meridian dialogue and tropes. There are whooping murderous Indians, sullen saloons, high noon stand-offs, trail wagons, and a travelling freak show. Almost inevitably, there is an unevenness in the quality of the installments. But there’s macabre fun to had with the Coens’ reworking of the Cóiste Bodhar myth with Brendan Gleeson. Other highlights include Liam Neeson’s impresario and Zoe Kazan’s wagon-trail romance. TB

WILDLIFE ★★★★☆
Directed by Paul Dano. Starring Carey Mulligan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Oxenbould, Bill Camp. 12A cert, limited release, 105 min

In his directorial debut, actor Dano takes on a Richard Ford novel about a couple (Mulligan and Gyllenhaal) falling apart in early 1960s Montana. Mulligan is at her best when sulking like a cat confronted with a rainy garden and, as the film progresses, she gets more opportunities to wrinkle her snout and droop her whiskers. But the standout performance may be that of young Ed Oxenbould as the couple’s son. A whole generation’s coming disenchantment is captured in his drooping features. Full review DC

WIDOWS ★★★★☆
Directed by Steve McQueen . Starring Viola Davis, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson. 16 cert, general release, 130 min

The director of Hunger takes another sharp turn as he attempts an adaptation of Lynda La Plante’s 1983 TV series concerning a gang of hoodlums’ wives who plan a heist. It’s all terribly unlikely (let’s have the babysitter drive the getaway car!) and a little over-stuffed with subplots (Duvall and Farrell as Irish-American crooks). But on a scene-by-scene basis it’s quite magnificent. All the performances are excellent, but Debicki stands out from the distinguished crowd. Full review/trailer DC

And nearly the last chance to see:

KATIE ★★★★☆
Directed by Ross Whitaker. Featuring Katie Taylor.12A cert, Light House, Dublin (Sat only), 90 min

Delightful documentary on the rise of Bray’s Katie Taylor. The boxer emerges as a contradictory personality: shy, modest, but frighteningly determined. The storytelling around her is efficient, lucid and (ahem) punchy. Family and associates laud the boxer without ever becoming overly gushy. We get a taste of her attachment to Christianity. We get some sense of what drives her to greater heights. But, unlike Notorious, the recent makeweight Conor McGregor doc, Katie never feels like a product of the fighter’s marketing machine. DC

GOOD FAVOUR ★★★★☆
Directed by Rebecca Daly. Starring Vincent Romeo, Lars Brygmann, Clara Rugaard, Alexandre Willaume, Victoria Mayer, Helena Coppejans. 12A cert, IFI, Dublin, 101 min

Daly follows up her acclaimed Mammal with an enigmatic drama concerning a young man who stumbles into an odd Christian community. Good Favour casts enough of a spell to compensate for its ambiguities. The forest setting and the oddly pleasing sound of an English-language script delivered by a varied European ensemble makes for a space in which anything is possible. In common with its inscrutable protagonist, it requires you to follow deep into the woods. TB

More ★★★★☆ and ★★★★★ movies out and about: Bohemian Rhapsody, Cold War, Dogman, First Man, The Hate U Give, Juliet Naked, Katie, The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid, Mandy, Rosie, A Star Is Born, The Wife

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