Director: Benedict Andrews Starring: Ruby Stokes, Rooney Mara, Ben Mendelsohn, Tobias Menzies .UK. 1h 34m David Harrower (based on his play “Blackbird”)
From its moody opening juxtaposed with PJ Harverys iconic Down By the Water there’s a clear insight into how dark and difficult Benedict Andrews drama is going to be. There’s a long and complicated tale that has to be adapted from stage to screen, one that describes a relationship that too many of us couldn’t fathom and even after watching the sterling performances, it’s still a tainted pill to swallow.
Director: Peter Mullan Starring: Connor McCarron, Greg Forrest, Joe Szula, Mhairi Anderson,. UK. 2h 4m
There’s no doubt that whenever Peter Mullan is in front or behind the camera there’s some kinds of magic occurring, one of the least talked about and yet most cherished and influential actors/directors in the UK, this personal project about a young boys decent reom Academic glory to Violent Street Culture has to be one of his deeper shining titles.
NEDS is a tragic drama about a young and gifted boy who’s obsession is with the kids from the wrong side of the tracks and his own inner anger help carve his future. Directed and co-starred by the british Meistero Peter Mullan, who in my opinion can do no wrong, NEDs is one of his top films as Mullans nostalgic eye behind the camera sets the scene for the most realistic British coming of age drama, something a lot of people wouldn’t want to face but admittedly couldn’t deny is plausible and engrossing.
Director: Tom Hooper Starring:Brian Clough, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent, Henry Goodman, Colm Meaney. UK. 1h 37m
This is a classic example of a movie, that despite its inaccuracies, and a niche target audience, is so well made and superbly acted that it is just an amazing film that is easy to love. I’m not into football so I couldn’t fathom how historically accurate the movie is but in fairness the larger more prominent moments of the film are documented and if you’re prepared you can watch some of the tv interviews alongside the movie and they are almost frame for frame.
Much of the movie rests on the shoulders of the lead Michael Sheens’ amazing ability to mimic other mortal humans, while he doesn’t physically look like Clough, it’s so easy to believe it’s the man who possessed Sheen’s body. The movie isn’t intended to be a documentary but some of the dramatisation has rubbed a few characters up the wrong way, and lawsuits were filed.
In a heated conversation between a couple of shabby fellows after a night of debauchery, a poignant line is shouted, the definition of the film title and ethos of what you have spend an hour watching… it goes something along the lines of “meeting someone fucking their brains out and when you get bored you move on”. This dry argument is a key to Penny Woolcock’s vibrantly disturbing drama surrounding the most powerful bouts of writer’s block that Paul might ever have in one lifetime.
Director: Sean Foley Starring: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis, Steve Coogan, Richard Cabe, Andrea Riseborough, Russell Tovey, David Schofield, Harriet Walter, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner. UK. 1h 29m
When your indie retro styled Brit Flick has major stars like Andrea Riseborough, Kenneth Brannagh and Simon Callow playing minor little cameos then you’d assume you’ve hit the big time or at least have an idea so crazy it might just work!? Mindhorn is a triumph of British comedy, starring Julian Barratt, who’s made us all laugh in comedy shows like The Mighty Boosh but has also astounded fans in solid trippy dramas like A Field In England, but let’s face it, if you don’t laugh at he antics in the Ben Wheatly classic then you’d end up in an asylum. But in this ridiocusly production he takes the lead and delivers an outstanding performance as a dated washed up actor who is called in by Isle of White police to help them fight a devious criminal.
It’s the truth time!
There has always been a strong comedy troupe, about that one guy who won’t let go of the past, He’s the chap in the corner of the pub, talking about his old band and possibility of being a Rockstar, but he just missed a great opportunity, all of this is maximised in Mindhorn. Julian Barrat plays the role of a hasbeen actor, who once had the role of a lifetime the lead in a hit TV show where he is a blend of 6 million dollar man and James bond, but today he’s washed up, he can’t get a role, drinks too much, no one takes him seriously and he still wears his retro 70’s clothing and a ridiculous mishmashed toupe.
Mindhorn is totally pathetic but he truly believes in himself as his tv character and with the chance to live that lifestyle again he jumps at the opportunity but fails miserably at every hurdle, the man can’t even make a phone call without wrecking the room. As a blend of Mr Magoo and Inspector Clouseau he’s a tornado of antics but at least he’s hysterically funny for the audience otherwise this would be jarring. Any hero who wakes up part naked on a police officer’s desk, half naked and high on pills having to explain drawing a pair of tits on someone’s land rover, is worth a few minutes of your attention, am i right?
If you’re a fan of the Boosh and subversive British humour then this can’t be missed, let your hair down and don’t take life too seriously, alongside the cast and have a super funny night even is Barret does wear black face for part of the film, i doubt anyone will be triggered due to the circumstances.
Related: Hot Rod (2007), Black Dynamite (2009)
Lists: Modern British Comedies
Spotlight:Julian Barratt, Andrea Riseborough, Simon Callow, Kenneth Branner.
Director: Prano Bailey-Bond
Starring: Niamh Algar, Nicholas Burns, Adrian Schiffler, Guillaume Delause, Richard Glover, Michael Smiley, UK. 1h 24m
An unfaltering, visually stunning movie outlining the effects of censorship and suppression on the persona and a precise documentation of the departmentalisation of one’s repressed memories. If you’ve had the privilege of seeing Prano’s short movie, Nasty then you’ll be prepared for the vivid colours, the frantic style of her curious retrowave tales. Nasty is a perfect introduction to her love of tracking, video culture and a warped perception of reality taking over her characters.
Director: Horaces Ove Starring: Norman Beaton, Nicholas Farrell, Brian Bovell, Ross Kemp, Gary Beadle, Trevor Thomas, Ram John Holder,Bruce Purchase, Joseph Marcell, Patrick Holt, Neil Morrissey. UK. 1h 40m
The beautiful game of cricket is the focus of a witty tale that highlights the ridiculous nature of racism and plesantary of just getting along and being a good person or at least a sports person. Somewhere in Ove’s little hidden gem of a movie, there’s a nod to the empowerment of being a team player, noting how the games give the population a sense of becoming a better person.
Director: Nick Love Starring: Danny Dyer, Tamer, Hassan, Geoff bell .UK. 1h 37m
It feels funny going back in time and finally watching this lary movie. After watching the slew of films which were created from it’s fallout, seeing the original template feels weird as I’ve seen all the parts play out in slightly different ways. Nick Love’s signature direction has conjured a tough guy world for many fans of this “English Bad Boy” subculture. But going back to see one of the early greats you can easily see what they were trying to mimic. This came just after Love’s cult favorite The Football Factory (2004) and aimed to tell a rags to riches tale littered with disgusting language and questionable characters.
Director: Jack McHenry Starring: Tom Bailey, Maureen Bennett, Alfred Bradle, Robert Llewellyn, Timothy Renouf, Charlie Robb, Jessica Webber. UK. 1h 20m
Genre bending comedy horror doesn’t get much better than this frightful mini epic. Here Comes Hell, sees a small group of gorgeous 1930’s socialites hooking up to see one of their friends’ new purchases, which just happens to be a charming haunted mansion located deep in the British wilderness. The party includes a seance as getting a psychic grandma in on your party is thought to be terribly fun.
Director: Pedro C Alonso Starring: Eddie Marsan, Paul Anderson, Ivana Baquero, Richard Brake, Oliver Coppersmith, Alexis Rodney, Anthony Head. UK. 1h 37m
After a duo of short movies Pedro C Alonso was given free range for his first feature film. Seemingly going balls to the wall with his daring psychological thriller, it turns a night of work into a night of hell for one highly secretive and very questionable DJ. Alonso seems to enjoy throwing his characters into a vivid world maximised by raging colours sound and violence, chuck in a pair of leather gloves and more eyeliner and we’d have a semi decent Giallo.