Our weekly look at the latest news and trailers from the world of film, featuring some Irish winners at Sundance, a cold and Hardy Soviet thriller and 5 films that will make your week… it’s The Showreel
Sundance Roundup – Success for the Irish
Great news coming from Utah where a number of Irish actors and film makers have been garnering great reviews along with picking up a number of awards at the Sundance Film Festival.
Young actor Jack Reynor won the special jury prize for acting on the back of his performance in Glassland directed by fellow Irishman Gerard Barrett. The film tells the story of how Reynor’s character deals with his mother’s alcoholism while becoming entwined in human trafficking. Reynor first grabbed attention with his brilliant performance in Lenny Abrahamson’s wonderfully delicate What Richard Did and stars here alongside Toni Collette (Muriel’s Wedding, Little Miss Sunshine), Michael Smiley (Black Sea, Kill List) and Will Poulter (Son of Rambow). You can watch the Glassland trailer here.
Saoirse Ronan has already been tipped for Oscar success (not this year but actually for 2016!!) for her portrayal of Ellis Lacey in Brooklyn, the adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel about a young woman’s emigration from 1950s Ireland to New York. Written by Nick Hornby and directed by another Irishman John Crwoley who previously brought us Intermission and Boy A, the film’s rights were picked up for a staggering $9 million by Fox Searchlight. The film premièred on Monday to a rapturous standing ovation and officially kicked off the 2016 Oscar watchlist. The film also stars Domhall Gleeson and Jim Broadbent.
The Michael Fassbender produced Slow West also picked up the Best Film award in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition. The odd western stars Fassbender alongside Kodi Smit-McFee (The Road) and Ben Mendelsohn and was shot by the fantastic Irish cinematographer Robbie Ryan who previously worked on the likes of Philomena and Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall.
The big winner at the prestigious festival was Me and Earl and the Dying Girl which won both the Dramatic Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize. The film tells the story of a young filmmaker who befriends a dying classmate and follows the likes of Whiplash and Fruitvale Station in winning both awards last year and the year before respectively.
Child 44 Dir. Daniel Espinosa
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Tom Hardy can do no wrong these days… and that now seems to include a Russian accent. Here he must solve a series of brutal murders against a political backdrop which swears that murders DO NOT happen. A really great cast includes Gary Oldman, Vincent Cassel, Paddy Considine, Joel Kinnaman and Noomi Rapace who Hardy starred alongside just recently in The Drop.
Very few films seem to be set in Stalin-era Soviet Union and it seems that author Tom Rob Smith nailed the tone, tension and oppression in his 2008 novel which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Let’s hope director Daniel Espinosa can translate it onto the big screen. Child 44 is out in April.
Tales of the Grim Sleeper Dir. Nick Broomfield
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Nick Broomfield has been making brilliant documentaries on outrageously diverse topics for 30 years including Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, Tracking Down Maggie and Biggie and Tupac. His style is similar to that of the more commonly known Louis Theroux but Broomfield has a darker edge to his films and really delves into the story and the people with scant regard for his own well being.
In Tales of the Grim Sleeper he enters one of the most renowned areas of South Central Los Angeles as he tries to find out the story of Lonnie Franklin, a man suspected of murdering numerous women over 25 years in the poor neighbourhood. The film will air on Sky Atlantic and was produced by HBO and lands at an important time in the ongoing conversation on racism is America.
So What Films Are On TV This Week?
Layer Cake (2004) – Film Four – Tuesday 3rd 11.35pm
A successful cocaine dealer gets two tough assignments from his boss on the eve of his planned early retirement.
Matthew Vaughn has made some great films lately including the X-Men reboot and the adorable Kick-Ass. Layer Cake was his directorial debut and toned in on the likes of Lock Stock and Snatch in terms of quality. Daniel Craig shows his leading man credentials pre-Bond in this slick, stylish British gangster story.
Robin Hood (2010) – Film Four – Wednesday 4th 9.00pm
In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.
It has some great action set pieces and a great cast including the up and coming Oscar Isaac, Cate Blanchett, Mark Strong, and William Hurt, however Robin Hood just fell short of capturing any sort of imagination and Russell Crowe’s leading man role was hampered by a seriously dubious accent throughout.
The Firm (1993) – More 4 – Thursday 5th 10.00pm
A young lawyer joins a prestigious law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.
For some reason this film just reminds me of that now familiar sprinting run that Tom Cruise does. How does he run so fast? I think it’s cause he points his hands and fingers really really straight when he runs. And also his tie blows around which means he’s running super fast. Gene Hackman also stars alongside Tom Cruise’s running.
The Social Network (2010) – More 4 – Friday 6th 9.00pm
Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg creates the social networking site that would become known as Facebook, but is later sued by two brothers who claimed he stole their idea, and the co-founder who was later squeezed out of the business.
Ugh a film about Facebook… was the initial reaction. However when you have Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) with the pen in his hand, and David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club) with the camera in his hand you can expect something of great quality. The Social Network is more a film about betrayal, jealousy and power rather than likes and bragging about how great your food is!
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) – E4 – Saturday 9.00pm
A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her nine-year-old son, John, from a more advanced cyborg, made out of liquid metal.
Parodied and over-quoted to a level like perhaps no other film, but Terminator 2 is still a hugely enjoyable and worthy sci-fi action film from James Cameron back when James Cameron made awesome sci-fi films!