There’s a distinctly Eastern European flavour to the roundup this week. The pick of the new releases is 11 Minutes, the latest from veteran Polish auteur Jerzy Skolimowski. It sees a bunch of characters linked by the events that occur within the titular timeframe, and it races along with an energy you wouldn’t expect from a 77-year-old filmmaker.
If that whets your appetite, you can find a bunch of Polish movies courtesy of the Irish Film Institute’s annual Kinopolis festival, which takes place this weekend and showcases the best of Polish cinema.
From Bulgaria we have an interesting slice of social realism in The Lesson, the story of a schoolteacher’s attempts to save the family home after her husband lands them in trouble with the bank. It’s gripping until the final scenes, when it all gets a little too overly dramatic.
Sunset Song is a rural Scottish melodrama adapted from a 1932 novel and almost feels like it was made in that year. It looks lovely and features some great performances, but it’s all a little timid, and probably belongs on ITV on a Sunday evening.
Krampus injects some horror into the Christmas movie genre with a John Hughes style family comedy interrupted by the arrival of a seasonal demon from Germanic folklore. It’s a bit of Xmas fun but never really makes the most out of its great concept.
The bottom of the barrel this week is Victor Frankenstein, a dull retread of Mary Shelley’s classic story that seems to believe it’s a lot more clever than it really is.
By Eric Hillis of themoviewaffler.com