April’s here, and thankfully the first of the month has been and gone without me falling for too many April Fool jokes. I would like to say I didn’t fall for any, but I am sweet and naive and I cannot tell a lie. That said, if anyone does want to assemble a fake trailer for something for next year, it would be greatly appreciated, as I need anything I can to hook me into the barrage of trailers I’m faced with every month.
I do try to watch as many trailers as possible, but with 65 films scheduled for release in UK cinemas in some form this month and 64 less Movie Evangelists to watch all those trailers, some pruning has to take place before I even fire up the YouTube. This month I took in a total of 28 trailers, and in each one I’m looking for the hook, that indefinable quality which will keep the trailer in my mind once I’ve watched so many that I’m struggling to remember my own name.
So this month, I present my half dozen trailers (plus a buy one, get one free special) with what made the film stand out before I watched the trailer, and then the hook which helped this make the list once I’d seen the respective promo. Not a fast (and furious) car, an Action Keanu or a horde of Avengers in sight, but I’m sure they’ll all be good too.
The Indian-Produced Mexican Film: Broken Horses
Vidhu Vinod Chopra, director of India’s biggest ever box office sensation 3 Idiots as well as a number of critically acclaimed Hindi films, has turned his hand to something completely different, a Western set on the Mexican-US border. Most of the promotional material online is from the Indian wing of Fox’s distribution, and it’s taken some unexpected angles.
You had me at: Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. James Cameron. But of course.
Broken Horses is on limited release from Friday 10th April.
The Not Quite Best Foreign Language Oscar Nominee: Force Majeure
The Oscars are a curious beast, and few awards are more curious than Best Foreign Language Film. Putting aside the fact that four of this year’s nominees that I’ve seen (Ida, Leviathan, Wild Tales, Timbuktu) are a country mile better than half of the actual Best Picture nominations (The Imitation Game, American Sniper, Birdman, The Theory Of Everything), you have to jump through a remarkable number of hoops even to get into the top five.
First, each country must choose one and only film and submit it, leaving the likes of Goodbye To Language and We Are The Best! falling short. The 83 films submitted then get reviewed by a committee who narrow it down to nine, and who this year ruled out Two Days, One Night, Mommy, Winter Sleep and Norte, The End Of History. (Funnily enough, they’re all better than the four Best Pictures nominees I listed as well.) And then, for reasons best known to themselves, they publish the list of nine a week before the full nominations before then cutting it down to five a week later. This year Corn Island, Accused, The Liberator and Force Majeure were the four to face last minute heartbreak.
I dream of a day when awards ceremonies just give prizes to the best films, rather than performing their current bizarre language segregation, but I also know it’s just a dream.
You had me at: Avalanche!
Force Majeure will be in art house cinemas and online at Curzon Home Cinema from Friday 10th April.
The Danish Western Set In Patagonia: Jauja
It’s got Viggo Mortensen and a brief synopsis which reads: “A father and daughter journey from Denmark to an unknown desert that exists in a realm beyond the confines of civilization.” If you’re not sold on that, maybe we shouldn’t be friends any more. No, wait, come back, only kidding! Of course we can watch Transformers again. (Sigh.)
You had me at: You’ve rounded the corners! Just like an old-timey photograph. Crazy.
Jauja is on limited release from Friday 10th April.
Buy One, Get One Free Special On Danish Westerns: The Salvation
Quite often I’ll make a snap judgement on whether or not a film’s worth a watch based on the quality of its cast. Aside from the Casino Royale reunion of Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green you’ve also got Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jonathan Pryce and the bloke who was Beorn in The Hobbit. That would do me even before…
You had me at: Eric Cantona. I know he’s been in films before, and I’m a Liverpool supporter so shouldn’t like him, but come on, he gets his name in the credits!
The Salvation is on limited release from Friday 17th April.
The Ryan Gosling Film You Wondered If You’d Ever See In A Cinema: Lost River
Another amazing cast list (Saiorse Ronan, Ben Mendelsohn, Christina Hendricks, Eva Mendes, the geeky bloke from Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.), but the big name here was always going to be the director. Sadly Ryan Gosling’s behind-the-camera debut has picked up poor to middling reviews, but most of them claim it to be at least an interesting failure.
You had me at: So that’s what you were keeping under the fez, Doctor. (Yes, I will watch anything with a former Doctor Who in it, what of it?)
Lost River is on limited release from Friday 10th April.
The Thickest Accent In The World Competition: Child 44
Oh, so it’s who’s got the best cast time, is it? Well, I see your Mads Mikkelsen and your Saoirse Ronan and I raise you Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Charles Dance, Vincent Cassel, Jason Clarke, Tara Fitzgerald and Paddy Considine! I believe that’s a full house.
You had me at: The last time I think I heard Russian accents that thick was probably in Muppets Most Wanted.
Child 44 is on general release from Friday 17th April.
In Any Other Month This Would Seem Strange: A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence
If you want me to be all “ooh, Iron Man fighting the Hulk, and lots of other giant fighty robots”, then you’ve come to the wrong place. This trilogy capper from the man that brought you Songs From The Second Floor and You, The Living is what’s getting me most excited come the end of the month. If you’ve never seen either of those films, then go and rectify that now.
You had me at: IN THE NAME OF SANITY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO THAT MONKEY?!?!
A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence is probably the only thing you’ll find in cinemas that isn’t Avengers 2 from Friday 24th April.