Out Now – 7th December 2012

Seven Psychopaths
Meta-comedy about a man writing a film about psychopaths of a surprisingly indeterminate number. As my friend Jon said, “It’s a dumb glossy action film with one-dimensional characters that ultimately lacks any heart or soul.”

The Man with the Iron Fists
“On the hunt for a fabled treasure of gold, a band of warriors, assassins, and a rogue British soldier descend upon a village in feudal China, where a humble blacksmith looks to defend himself and his fellow villagers.” Respect to any film with a crazy synopsis like this which uses the Oxford comma.

The Oranges
Gentle comedy about a man (Hugh Laurie) who starts to date his friend’s daughter (Leighton Meester). With the rest of the cast filled out by Catherine Keener, Adam Brody, Oliver Platt, Alia Shawkat, and Allison Janney there isn’t a dud in the box.

So Undercover
Miley Cyrus is a private eye hired by the FBI to pose as a college student. Imagine Veronica Mars but without anything good in it. Imagine Miley Cyrus trying to act. Imagine a “steet-smart” girl forced to join a sorority. Imagine hitting your face against a wall until you are no longer able to remember that this film exists. There, that’s better.

Celeste & Jesse Forever
Disarmingly charming non-romantic comedy about trying to stays friends with your ex and all the pain and struggles that can bring. Three Mild Concern writers accidentally saw this film at the same screening and we all loved it. So there.

I, Anna (limited release)
“A noir thriller told from the point of view of a femme fatale, who falls for the detective in charge of a murder case.” I quite liked it.

Confession of a Child of the Century (limited release)
Pete Doherty (oh yes, him) stars as Octave in 1830s Paris – a man who is betrayed by his mistress and falls in love with an elder widow (Charlotte Gainsbourg).Pete Doherty acting? Bloody hell.

When Santa Fell to Earth (limited release)
German children’s film in which Santa falls to Earth. Presumably. The full synopsis looks ridiculously complicated, is five paragraphs long, and contains phrases like “Goblynch also wants to force Santa Niklas Goodfellow, the last real Santa, to work for his commercialized Christmas company and forces him to do hard labour in the ordering department of the Christmas Palace.”

You Will Be My Son (limited release)
“An Oedipal tale set in a world of oenophiles.” I take my hat off to you anonymous Independent film critic.

Gremlins (limited release)
One of the best Christmas films ever ever ever is back in some cinemas. Go see it. NOW!

Life Just Is (limited release)
“Pete, Tom, Claire and Jay are university graduates having trouble making the move into adult life. Beneath the hanging out and the daily routines simmers Pete’s desire to find a spiritual answer to life’s meaning, Jay’s desperate need not to get hurt again, and Tom and Claire’s ever increasing mutual attraction.” It’s about me! I am a graduate struggling to make the move into adult life. I seek the meaning of life. I don’t want to get hurt. I have an increasing mutual attraction with myself.

I, Anna – LFF Review

I, Anna is a modern-day British noir thriller. DCI Bernie Reid (Gabriel Byrne) is investigating a brutal murder while struggling through a divorce and starting to date the mysterious Anna (Charlotte Rampling) who has plenty of secrets to unveil before the film’s end. The film’s plot is too delicate to discuss in much more detail and I’m afraid that pulling on any one thread will reveal too much.

I, Anna is a great showcase of older UK acting talent. Byrne plays a troubled man struggling between loyalties and Rampling shows a tender frailty with the hint of something dangerous bubbling below the surface. Both characters garnered a lot of sympathy as we were allowed an insight into both their lives beyond the case at hand. Rampling’s trip to a singles night was heartbreaking; a bewildered divorced woman looking for companionship being given advice on oral sex in the toilets makes for a slightly tragic tableau. In a similar position Byrne’s character was forced to stoop to looking up a woman’s car registration in the police database in order to force a chance encounter. These are two desperately lonely characters caught up in an impossible situation.

I’m not sure if it is just me or a sign of the state of TV and film but it was almost odd to see a crime drama with middle-aged characters on the big screen. It is more common to see this style of drama on BBC1 or ITV with the cinema reserved only for crime dramas involving the younger, more violent end of the criminal scale.

I, Anna was gripping, surprising, and superbly acted. While a cinematic release is scheduled for September 7th in the UK I can’t help but feel that the film is better suited to a TV viewing.

56th BFI London Film Festival

And we’re off! The 56th BFI London Film Festival is in full swing and as is tradition Mild Concern will be turning into full festival mode for at least the next week. Armed with a press pass, a week’s holiday, and a small amount of disposal income we will be watching as many films as we can in an effort to breach the 30 film mark having successfully reviewed over 20 films last year.

To help make this deluge of reviews more manageable links to all the films we’ve watched will be placed below in a beautiful wall of hyperlinked images. Have a click around, it does wonders for our stats.

Films reviewed:

The SessionsHyde Park on Hudson