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
A hitman and a young woman, both scarred by past events and obsessed with revenge, meet and fall in love.
Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev's first Hollywood feature re-unites him with Noomi Rapace, who played Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Revenge thriller mechanics and off-kilter art-house romance make for uneasy bedfellows, as do Rapace's reclusive, facially-scarred Beatrice and Colin Farrell's solitary, socially-awkward criminal. Beatrice lives with her solicitous mother, Valentine (Isabelle Huppert), in the apartment across the street from Victor's, and it is from her balcony that she sees him strangle a man to death. On their tense first date, Beatrice tries to blackmail Victor into killing the drunk driver who crashed into her car and destroyed her life. But Victor too is consumed with revenge, and the dead goon later turns up in the freezer at his gangster boss Alphonse's mansion – the latest cryptic message in a calculated, paranoia-inducing campaign. It's an intriguing and emotionally powerful set-up, especially when we later learn the brutal history behind Victor's patient, obsessive desire for vengeance.
Yet for all the confidence displayed in the first third of J H Wyman's script, it suffers from the same lack of structure and staying power as his last produced movie, The Mexican (2001), which starred Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts. Despite Oplev's meticulous attention to the intricate details of the film's serpentine plot, it is as sluggish as an anaconda after a heavy meal. The only plot element that injects any hint of suspense is Dominic Cooper's portrayal of the ambitious Darcy, whose terrier-like efforts to solve the mystery behind their iced colleague's murder give Victor some anxious moments. The climactic shoot-out is explosive yet unexciting, so as the overwrought storyline grinds towards its predictable end, we are left with a profound sense of what might have been. This is sad, because the unusually tight-lipped Farrell and the ever-watchable Rapace are utterly convincing as a pair of damaged souls groping for a glimmer of hope in a morass of moral darkness.
A lifeless attempt to fuse a taut crime thriller and a complex psychological drama.
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
@Film4 RT @sherilynfenn1: Best picture ever. Yesterday I delivered my homemade baskets of bday treats to my beloved friend💘💘💘 https://t.co/nOHarwH…
@Film4 "At my age I've seen about all that life has to dish out." At 4.25pm, Richard Farnsworth stars in The Straight Story https://t.co/WSgZHN5R52
@Film4 In an hour at 4.25pm, we're celebrating David Lynch's birthday with a screening of his delightful, Oscar-nominated… https://t.co/WSqbnE0c7f
@Film4 RT @Film4: Happy birthday, David Lynch! 🎂 Here he is drinking coffee on the set of The Straight Story, which we're showing later today at 4…
@Film4 One week to go! #T2Trainspotting https://t.co/Wo4PQC1oWx