It’s May, when the warm sunny days start becoming more frequent, the nights are getting lighter and the movies get bigger and shoutier. Except it’s so cold this year I’ve still got a jumper on and the rabbits in our garden are getting a second winter coat. At least there are some certainties, such as the studios getting out their summer tentpoles and using them to put up their giant tent of blockbuster goodness. In the US, they’re getting the wide and varied delights of The Avengers and Battleship, but we’ve already been spoiled with them early, which leaves May in the UK packed with mainly warmed over comedy sequels. Oh dear. At least the nights are still getting brighter.
So, if American Pie: Reheated, The Dictator or Men In Black: This Trailer Has Quite Literally No Jokes In It, Will Smith What Are You Doing aren’t getting you excited, there’s still something this month for all tastes, including a couple of directors with their own distinctive styles and at least one name that we may be hearing a lot more from in the future.
Ticking the inevitable box for me of “nominated for the Best Foreign Language Oscar” and therefore meaning that my watching it, provided it’s showing this side of London, is also almost an inevitability, it’s a shame that almost every review or article on this film feels the need to compare it to Dead Poets Society, especially since that now ranks at best third in the list of Robin Williams’ academia-based performances. (Good Will Hunting and World’s Greatest Dad are better, thanks for asking.)
Tim Burton has proven himself to be something of an enigma, with an often unique take on material, normally skewed with a dark sensibility but one that doesn’t always come off, and for every Edward Scissorhands or Sweeney Todd in the back catalogue there’s also a Planet Of The Apes or an Alice In Wonderland. I was one of many surprised by this trailer, as it originally looked to be a straight adaptation but the trailer suggests the camp factor has been ramped up a little. Place your bets as to what we actually get later this month.
It’s not big, and it’s not clever. So sue me. (Well, actually maybe it is big…)
The Raid: Redemption
If the definition of world cinema is ‘three hour Norwegian drama about cabbage farming’, then I’ll probably still be interested. If, on the other hand, it’s ‘guy from Wales goes to Indonesia and makes martial arts action film that’s being spoken about in the same breath as freakin’ DIE HARD’ then I’m definitely in.
Even The Rain
Of course, if you are a foreign language film – this one didn’t make Oscar’s final five, but it did get on the longlist of nine – then it helps if you have a couple of better-known names to stick on the poster, and Gael Garcia Bernal and Luis Tosar just about fit that bill. The kind of worthy enterprise about Indians that in the wrong hands (i.e., probably American) would be maudlin, saccharine and just about unpalatable, but looks to have fared much better by the hands of the Spanish.
The Royal Tenenbaums was in my top 10 of the last decade, but although Wes Anderson’s films have never been less than great, none has quite hit the heights of Wes’s first film of the last decade. Based solely on this trailer, I am getting my hopes sufficiently up that this will come at least close to those heights, and given the inclusion of the likes of Bruce Willis and Edward Norton to compensate for the loss of Owen Wilson, I am eagerly awaiting word from Cannes when Moonrise Kingdom opens the festival this year.