Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in director Amma Asante's period drama, which is based on the true story of Georgian Britain's first mixed-race aristocrat, Dido Belle.
On Film4: 23 Jan 9:00PM
Hard-hitting chase thriller directed by the leader of the Korean New Wave Lee Myung-Se. A stunning visual feast, artfully playing with conventions of cinematic time and resembling a manga animation, this is a film dripping with Eastern promise
In a beautifully-shot early sequence, an unknown stranger is stabbed to death. The tone is set for the rest of the film. Drenched with startling colours, disjointed in its time structure and characterised by a lingering attention to indirect details (a girl playing at the scene of the crime, the reflection of the waiting assassin's face in a CD, rain pummelling the bonnet of the car he waits in) the sequence pounds on to a murderous freeze frame climax; teasing, dazzling and intriguing by turn.
Suddenly, the chase is on and a motley crew of ruthless, fascistic cops are on the trail, consistently eluded by the fugitive Sungmin (Ahn) - as smooth as polished ice and as bad as Lee Van Cleef. On the other side is the ultra-violent Detective Woo (Park), a man who has no qualms about torturing his captives. "Call a lawyer and say you were beaten, if I cared I wouldn't be a detective," he tells one bloodied heap.
The brutal police at first seem worse than the criminals, but soon reveal a tender, confused-big-kid side: a theme often movingly (especially thanks to Park's winning smile and fine slapped puppy impression) but sometimes clumsily dealt with - the film's one dud scene features drawn out soul-searching after a criminal is shot.
For the rest though, the viewer is led on a spectacular, frenetic trail through the Korean underworld; constantly assaulted and challenged by the ever-changing imagery and timescale of director Lee Myung-Se's unique brand of cinema.
Perhaps it will seem dated in a few years, but for now, who cares?
It is poetry in motion - a live action manga - and even though the visual bombardment sometimes jars and distracts from the action, it always looks incredible.
Andrea Arnold¿s American Honey continued its run of awards success today, with five nominations at the London Critics¿ Circle Film Awards: Film of the Year, British/Irish Film of the Year, Supportin
Andrea Arnold's American Honey, starring Sasha Lane, triumphed at the British Independent Film Awards 2016 [caption id="attachment_5357" align="alignnone" width="600"] Sasha Lane in American Honey[/
The best all-singing, all-dancing showstoppers every committed to screen
A summary of the critics and film professionals who voted for the top 50 Horror films of the 21st Century