It’s a good week to go back to the movies, with three of this week’s ten releases earning an A rating. Jordan Peele’s new film, Us (Rating: A), is a follow-up to his ground-breaking debut, Get Out. It features Lupita Nyong'o as the mother of an upper middle-class family on summer holiday who are confronted by malicious doubles of themselves. Reviewer Jim Slotek calls the film is smart, challenging and “artfully chilly”
Kim Hughes has high praise for The Mustang (Rating: A) with Belgian actor, Matthias Schoenaerts, as a violent inmate of a Nevada prison who gets a chance for redemption through a prison program to tame wild horses. Liam Lacey reviews Jia Zhang-ke’s Ash Is The Purest White (Rating: A), an intimate, eighteen-year epic, with a knockout performance by Zhao Tao as a smalltime Chinese gangsters’ moll.
Otherwise, we have The Highwaymen (Rating: B), a neo-Western starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the aging Texas Rangers assigned to kill Bonnie and Clyde. Newfoundland director, Deanne Foley’s An Audience of Chairs (Rating: B minus), , about a concert pianist with mental health problems who loses custody of her daughters. Coriolanus (Rating: B Plus) offers Robert LePage’s acclaimed multi-media production, shot off the Stratford stage, The Quietude (Rating: B-minus), is an Argentinian pot-boiler with Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) and Edgar Ramírez (Carlos), about a family of wealthy ranchers, burdened with secrets and sins.
The Aftermath (Rating: C), is set in post-War Germany with Alexander Skarsgård as a German widower and Keira Knightley as a married English colonel’s wife, thrown together with predictable results. Though Skarsgard often gets sexy typecasting, Kim Hughes says he’s downright dowdy in Canadian director, Kim Nguyen’s financial thriller, The Hummingbird Project (Rating: C plus),who, along with his cousin (Jesse Eisenberg), plans a high-tech cheat to beat the stock market.
Also this week, we have a preview of North America’s biggest documentary film festival, Hot Docs International Film Festival (April 25-May 5,) And with this week’s podcast, we offer some perspective on Hollywood’s latest sex scandal and discuss the fearful cunning of Us (meaning the movie, not ourselves). Have a great weekend!