Out Now – Good Friday 2014

We Are Amazing!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Andrew Garfield’s version of Spider-Man is back along with his wide-eyed love interest Emma Stone. Lots of people had less than enthusiastic things to say about the first in this series but I enjoyed it, the cast are great, and if we’re really honest with ourselves the Tobey Maguire films weren’t exactly Shakespeare either. Count me in for more from Garfield and friends.

The Love Punch
This heist film starring some of Britain’s older (but not old) actors is being hailed by some as another film for grey haired fans of the silver screen but the film’s star Emma Thompson disagrees. Thompson sees this comedy as not being for the elderly but for being for everyone and I agree. Just because a comedy doesn’t star people in their twenties doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by that demographic. I am a twenty-something and I love a bit of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

We Are the Best!
Hugely enjoyable period film set in 1980s Stockholm in which three young girls start their own punk band. In my review I describe the film as being like a “warm, slightly baggy, jumper” and frankly there’s nothing better to watch on a long bank holiday weekend.

Magic Magic
Sharing a writer, director, star, and location with this year’s earlier release Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus (a film I will get round to watching any day now, promise) Magic Magic is an independent thriller set in Chile with a cast of bright young things including Michael Cera, Juno Temple, and Emily Browning. I’m curious.

Wrinkles
Traditionally animated Spanish drama about life in a retirement home. This looks quite intriguing as it tackles the issues of growing old and fearing both death and losing quality of life long before death. With a 15 certificate this is definitely not a kid’s cartoon.

The Sea
A widower returns to the seaside town he frequented in his youth as he tries to come to terms with his wife’s death. While not exactly laugh a minute this film does serve to answer the question of what Bonnie Wright has been up to since the Harry Potter films ended.

Locke
British drama comprised of nothing but Tom Hardy in a car driving home from London to Birmingham. Over the length of the film Hardy as the titular Locke takes a series of phone calls that apparently change his life as he juggles a work crisis with trouble on the home front. Something a little different and a most intriguing premise.

2 States
Indian romantic comedy about a couple from opposite cultural ends of India who fall in love but can’t get married until their families give their blessing. A 100% Indian version of Guess Who’s Coming Together.

Reaching for the Moon
“A chronicle of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.” Brazilian!

East of Eden / Rebel Without a Cause / Giant
A triple bill of James Dean re-releases from 1955/1956. A gluttony of delight for any James Dean fan or an education for a James Dean virgin. Probably a hard line-up to find so head down to the BFI if you can.

BAFTA Rising Star Nominees 2014

Bafta Rising Star Nominees 2014

This year’s BAFTA Film Awards will be presented on the 16th of February and there is one award in particular that never fails to catch my attention; the Rising Star Award. The unique nature of the award is that the winner is voted for by the public and this is both intriguing and to the awards detriment. The award will sometimes go to the nominee with the biggest fan base or highest profile rather than an up and coming talent that could really do with the encouragement.

Yesterday BAFTA announced the five nominees as selected by a panel of industry experts and I’m here to pass judgement on them and see who I think should win.

Dane Dehaan

Dane Dehaan
Dehaan first grabbed my attention with his Season 3 role in Gabriel Byrne’s dialogue heavy TV epic In Treatment as the troubled teen Jesse D’Amato. Since then he has perfected the role of troubled genius in films such as Chronicle and Kill Your Darlings. Dehaan managed to ground the supernatural Chronicle and make it all the more real by putting in a truly threatening performance. I may not have enjoyed Kill Your Darlings but it certainly wasn’t Dehaan’s fault. His next major appearance is taking over the role of Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (a casting spookily predicted by Stephen on this blog) and I for one am quietly excited. As someone with some solid but low-key performances under his belt and more mainstream fare up ahead I can easily see what makes Dehaan a candidate for the Rising Star Award.

Will Poulter

Will Poulter
Oh Will, where did it all go wrong? Six years ago Poulter debuted in the adorable British film Son of Rambow directed by Garth Jennings in which Will played the role of Lee Carter. Since then he has taken on a few TV roles, appeared as Eustace in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and acted in the critically acclaimed Wild Bill. Most recently he has undone all that good work by helping to make the atrocity that was We’re the Millers. Sorry Will but I really can’t get past that film.

Lupita Nyong’o

Lupita Nyong’o
Lupita Nyong’o has a 100% flawless record of five-star films by virtue of the fact that her sole cinematic release to date is the, as yet unreleased in the UK, 12 Years a Slave. In this future Oscar winner (trust me) Lupita plays a young slave woman who is separated from her child and suffers the worst brutality seen in the film. As an attractive young woman she suffers from the amorous advances of her “owner” and the jealous rages of his wife all while grieving for her absent child. Nyong’o’s performance is striking and heartbreaking and I’d say she deserved this award if I didn’t already think she was on her way to the Best Actress Oscar instead.

Léa Seydoux

Léa Seydoux
Léa Seydoux has been working solidly in French cinema since 2006 and made a few appearances in high-profile American fare including Midnight in Paris, Inglourious Basterds, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol. What has really brought Seydoux to everyone’s attention is her supporting role in the epic love story (and my favourite film of 2013) that is Blue is the Warmest Colour. Much as I loved her performance in the film I can’t help but think that her co-star Adèle Exarchopoulos is more deserving of a position on this list. Exarchopoulos carried the film on her shoulders and has a much less developed CV than Seydoux. All that said I am very excited to see where Léa’s career goes next particularly with her role in the remake of La belle & la bête coming up later this year.

George Mackay

George Mackay
Sadly, despite his recent role in the Proclaimers musical Sunshine on Leith, I have no idea who George Mackay is. Perhaps this anonymity makes him the perfect nominee for an award aimed at encouraging a burgeoning career or perhaps I just need to widen my cinematic horizons so that an actor’s entire career doesn’t pass me by again. Sorry George!

For me the winner has to be Dane DeHaan. Despite having a good crop of films behind him DeHaan has not yet become a household name and has put in a series of solid performances in smaller films. The others in the list have either risen too much in my opinion or made one bad film with Jennifer Aniston that i can’t get past. Not naming any names obviously. George Mackay prove me wrong, I’ll be sure to watch How I Live Now when it comes out on DVD.

Disagree with me? Of course you do! Have your say by voting over at the Rising Star Award page.