Out Now – Good Friday 2014

We Are Amazing!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Andrew Garfield’s version of Spider-Man is back along with his wide-eyed love interest Emma Stone. Lots of people had less than enthusiastic things to say about the first in this series but I enjoyed it, the cast are great, and if we’re really honest with ourselves the Tobey Maguire films weren’t exactly Shakespeare either. Count me in for more from Garfield and friends.

The Love Punch
This heist film starring some of Britain’s older (but not old) actors is being hailed by some as another film for grey haired fans of the silver screen but the film’s star Emma Thompson disagrees. Thompson sees this comedy as not being for the elderly but for being for everyone and I agree. Just because a comedy doesn’t star people in their twenties doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyed by that demographic. I am a twenty-something and I love a bit of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

We Are the Best!
Hugely enjoyable period film set in 1980s Stockholm in which three young girls start their own punk band. In my review I describe the film as being like a “warm, slightly baggy, jumper” and frankly there’s nothing better to watch on a long bank holiday weekend.

Magic Magic
Sharing a writer, director, star, and location with this year’s earlier release Crystal Fairy & the Magical Cactus (a film I will get round to watching any day now, promise) Magic Magic is an independent thriller set in Chile with a cast of bright young things including Michael Cera, Juno Temple, and Emily Browning. I’m curious.

Wrinkles
Traditionally animated Spanish drama about life in a retirement home. This looks quite intriguing as it tackles the issues of growing old and fearing both death and losing quality of life long before death. With a 15 certificate this is definitely not a kid’s cartoon.

The Sea
A widower returns to the seaside town he frequented in his youth as he tries to come to terms with his wife’s death. While not exactly laugh a minute this film does serve to answer the question of what Bonnie Wright has been up to since the Harry Potter films ended.

Locke
British drama comprised of nothing but Tom Hardy in a car driving home from London to Birmingham. Over the length of the film Hardy as the titular Locke takes a series of phone calls that apparently change his life as he juggles a work crisis with trouble on the home front. Something a little different and a most intriguing premise.

2 States
Indian romantic comedy about a couple from opposite cultural ends of India who fall in love but can’t get married until their families give their blessing. A 100% Indian version of Guess Who’s Coming Together.

Reaching for the Moon
“A chronicle of the tragic love affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soares.” Brazilian!

East of Eden / Rebel Without a Cause / Giant
A triple bill of James Dean re-releases from 1955/1956. A gluttony of delight for any James Dean fan or an education for a James Dean virgin. Probably a hard line-up to find so head down to the BFI if you can.

We Are the Best! – LFF Film Review

We Are The Best

“Fun” is not a word I use a lot when talking about the film festival experience. Often films are better described by words such as “worthy”, “important”, “dull”, “oscar-worthy”, “impenetrable”, or “borderline pornographic” but with We Are the Best! there really is no better word to apply to it than “fun”.

It is Stockholm in the early 1980s, everyone is wearing amazing jumpers, and punk is dead. Or is it? Two young girls, Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin), team up to form their own punk band purely to spite a group of boys who want to use the same rehearsal space. With no musical skills to speak of they recruit friendless guitar-playing Christian Hedvig (Liv LeMoyne) and a new punk band (NOT a girl band) is formed.

The film focusses on the trio as they rehearse their only song (an angry tirade against sport and other less important issues like poverty), punk up their hair, and grow together, and occasionally apart, as friends. Incidents and plot points that might otherwise be taken too seriously are handled with a lighthearted touch as the girls experiment with alcohol, flirt with punk boys, and get ready to perform at a Christmas rock concert.

This is a film with no deep message, that doesn’t ask you to feel anything but joy at the antics of three excitable young punks as they try to rebel against a world that isn’t very oppressive. The film is gorgeously shot by director Lukas Moodysson; the colours are vibrant and one rooftop view of a wintry Sweden is breathtaking. My only criticism is that without a strict plot to adhere to the film runs roughly 10 minutes too long and feels a little baggy in the middle.

Like putting on a warm, slightly baggy, jumper We Are the Best! is good clean fun and a real treat when sampled in amongst some of the London Film Festival’s grittier offerings.

We Are the Best! is in UK cinemas from 18th April 2014.

BFI London Film Festival 2013