Well, it’s that time again. Not only is it Friday, so time for another slice of well-meant encouragement to help you on your way to the cinema, where of course you’ll find a diverse array of movies awaiting your viewing pleasure. Although this weekend, you’re more likely than not to find yourself faced with two and a half hours, consisting of half a film about wizards, with possibly a few midgets and Helena Bonham Carter thrown in for good measure. There are five cinemas within twenty miles of my house, with a combined total of 31 screens, and Potter and his teen-looking chums will be gracing 16 of them by my count.
So you may wonder why I’m bothering this week. Surely you’re either such a rabid Potter fanboy that you’ve already had a small lightning bolt tattooed into your forehead, you’ve ritually sacrificed your parents and have already been to see the movie three times, and are now reading this from the cupboard under the stairs where you’ve made your home, or you’re feeling duty bound to go and see it anyway, and this must be the last one, or nearly the last one, or I’ll pretend it’s the last one, but either way, you’ll be seeing young wizards this weekend, because that’s the only real option. Right?
Wrong. On those other screens, even in my locality, there are still some gems playing, including at various points The Social Network, Another Year, Jackass 3D, Let Me In and A Town Called Panic, all of which are between great and outstanding, and the last of which I’ve even managed to get around to writing a review for. But also opening this week is Chico & Rita, which I was lucky enough to see as the surprise film at the Cambridge Film Festival earlier this year. And it couldn’t be further removed from Potter – it’s an amimated movie, a mixture of rotscoping and CGI, set in the Americas of the late Forties and telling a love story set around jazz music, featuring a fantastic soundtrack of the era. If you’re lucky enough to have it near you, it really is worth seeking out. But don’t be afraid to brave the crowds of teenage wizard wannabes this weekend, you could still find something truly magical.