All the movies worth catching in the capital, from Swedish folk horror to a blockbuster about Spider-Man on his holidays...
Out and about this weekend? Fancy a film but can’t make your mind up what to see? Look no further: we’ve assembled the best of what’s on in London and gathered them here to make choosing a great movie as easy as possible. Whether it’s a three hour-long epic about a famous artist, or a horror classic that will put you right off going to Venice, Walloh has you well and truly covered. No need to thank us.
Never Look Away
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck is a director who has tasted success and failure in equal measure: his political thriller The Lives of Others, released back in 2006, still stands as one of the best films about surveillance ever made. Then came The Tourist, an ill-judged Johnny Depp Euro-thriller which made his previous victory look like an accident. Thankfully Donnersmarck’s latest, Never Look Away, a gorgeously-designed melodrama based on the life of infamous artist Gerhard Richter, feels closer to his debut. Starring Tom Schilling, it’s undeniably excessive at three hours, but worth watching for the gorgeous production and aesthetic detail alone. The title, in that sense, is perfectly apt. Look away? You won’t want to.
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Set against the backdrop of the ’70s gay porn scene, Knife+Heart – the latest from director Yann Gonzalez, who impressed with his 2013 film You and the Night – hones on a film producer, played by Vanessa Paradis, who discovers that a serial killer is offing the men who star in her erotic movies. This, in turn, inspires her to make a porn film about the very subject. The result is a strange and hypnotic thriller with a fantastic sense of time and place, set amongst seedy theatres and fetish clubs. There is something of early Brian De Palma in Gonzalez’s neon-fuelled vision, and a clear influence of giallo. Quite the trip.
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Support the Girls
This comedy stars the always sensational Regina Hall in a insanely likeable performance as the boss of a Hooters-esque restaurant chain called “Double Whammies” (geddit?). Set over the course of a single day, Support the Girls rallies its audience to do exactly that – even as the film’s customers strive to do exactly the opposite. If director Andrew Bujalski misses the chance to truly dissect the “breastaurant” trend that actively invites men to ogle women as they chow down on cheeseburgers, Support the Girls remains an authentic and unpredictable portrait of female friendship that also sets a new standard for the oft-wonky workplace comedy. Did we mention how good Hall is? Because she’s really good.
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10 Things I Hate About You
Few teen comedies are as universally-adored as Gil Junger’s 10 Things I Hate About You, a transposing of classic Shakespeare play The Taming of the Shrew to an American high school – how very ’90s. The plot here concerns the plight of a teenage girl (Larisa Oleynik) who – by order of her father – is banned from dating boys until her older sister (Julia Stiles) does it first. Whilst there’s joy to be had from a talented cast, including a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt, this is – and always has been – Heath Ledger’s movie. As Patrick Verona, he’s the archetypical bad boy with a heart of gold. Twenty years on, 10 Things still feels fresh.
Get 10 Things I Hate About You showtimes in London.
Spider-Man: Far From Home
After six Spidey movies set in NYC, Far From Home bucks the trend and sends Peter Parker – the insanely likeable Tom Holland – on a summer vacay around Europe as he attempts to ditch the crime-fighting in favour of wooing the object of his affections (played by the ever-droll Zendaya). It isn’t before long before Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio has turned up from an alternate dimension, though, warning Peter of an impending threat. Given Far From Home’s status as the follow-up to Endgame, there was a fear it would flounder in the mess left by its predecessor. We needn’t have worried: this breezy summer romp brings Phase Three to a close in a fun and satisfying way. It’s also far weirder than it first appears (thanks, Jake).
Toy Story 4
Toy Story 3 did the seemingly impossible when it hit cinemas back in 2010, capping off a beloved series in a way that felt both definitive and perfect. News that Toy Story 4 was in the works only served to send Pixar fans into a state of shock, though: how could you improve upon perfection, after all? Quell your fears: Toy Story 4 is here and – against the odds – it’s actually good, somehow managing to improve the ending of its predecessor whilst also existing as arguably the strangest movie the studio have ever produced. As Woody, Buzz, and the gang head out to rescue new “toy” Forky, Toy Story 4 deals with everything from existentialism to the nature of consciousness. Who said this was a franchise for kids?
Just when you thought we’d said all there was to say about the moon landing, along comes the best documentary ever made on the subject. Assembled entirely from gloriously-resorted archive footage (and fifty years in the making), Apollo 11 is proof that docs needn’t be overly stylised or padded out with endless talking heads: instead this one succeeds entirely on the sole brilliance of the mostly unseen, awe-inspiring footage assembled here, resulting in what now feels like the definitive account of a landmark mission. Riveting and totally refreshing in its simplicity, Apollo 11 is required viewing for anyone with even a passing interest in space travel – and that goes doubly for any landing conspiracy theorists out there.
The new crown prince of horror, Ari Aster, follows his sensational debut Hereditary with a trippy genre flick that also doubles as a break-up movie. Set almost entirely during the day, Midsommar follows a group of Americans as they venture off-grid to a remote Swedish village and find themselves at the mercy of a Pagan cult (uh-oh). Channeling classic folk horror The Wicker Man and featuring a stand-out performance from soon-to-be-a-household-name Florence Pugh, Midsommar is proof that Aster’s no one-trick-pony. Whilst it doesn’t quite reach the grief-stricken heights of his debut and its length might defeat some (it runs at a whopping 147 minutes), this is a gorgeous, hallucinogenic nightmare.
Don’t Look Now
British director Nicolas Roeg made some fantastically memorable films in his time, but it’s this tale of grief-stricken parents (adapted from a novella by Daphne du Maurier) that stands as his greatest artistic vision. Starring Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie as a couple retreating to Venice in the wake of their daughter’s death, Don’t Look Now is a film awash with atmosphere and symbolism – a strange and unsettling fusion of editing, sound, and performance that feels unlike any other horror film. From its tragic opening to its terrifying final reveal – and now restored in gorgeous 4K – it’s a luscious nightmare. If you’ve just booked a trip to Venice for your holidays, you might want to avoid this one until you return.
This post was categorised in Features.