Hardened film blogger that I now am, I get asked more and more these days by people whether certain films are worth seeing. Admittedly this is because I spend long enough in their company to engineer the conversation round to movies, but the time it takes to do this can normally now be measured in hours rather than days, so I’m making progress. But since Christmas, the vast majority of questions I’ve taken have been about one film. There’s a British film that, last weekend, actually increased its takings week on week, and screenings have been selling out. The lead actor is a strong contender for the Best Actor Oscar, the rest of the cast is stellar and it’s a feel good British movie the likes of which we probably haven’t seen since The Full Monty. (Although thankfully, there’s no chance of seeing Colin Firth’s bum this time.) But it’s not the one that people are asking me about. It’s this one.
Let’s be honest, they’re probably not asking because they’ve already seen The King’s Speech. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’re British and you haven’t seen it, then you’re officially the last person not to have seen it. Which is probably some form of achievement. Unfortunately for you, right now lots of far-right politicians are actively campaigning to have you exiled to Papua New Guinea. You might be able to redeem yourself by watching 127 Hours, which is the one that it seems that everyone in Britain wants to see, but only a few have the guts.
Yes, it is a little bit of an endurance test, mainly if, like me, you instantly work out that the caption “Saturday” means it will be around “Thursday” before we get to the main event. But it’s absolutely as much a life-affirming tale as The King’s Speech, except not everyone has the same number of arms at the end they had at the start. If you want to know if you’ve got the guts for it, then only you can answer that; although my sister-in-law and her bloke watched A Serbian Film last weekend, which is somewhere well beyond where I’d venture, and I’ll normally watch pretty much anything. But you can always walk out if it gets too much; the only way you can do that, though, is to walk in first. Enjoy, if that’s the right word.