It didn’t win the Oscar in the end, but for the past few months talk of La La Land has been inescapable. On Monday at the Irish Film Institute you can catch a genuinely great musical in 1952’s masterpiece Singin’ in the Rain. From Gene Kelly swinging around lampposts to Donald O’Connor bouncing on a couch, it’s one of the finest examples of the genre, and unmissable on the big screen.
Now that awards season is finally over we begin to get really interesting movies, and there are three great new releases arriving this week. Directed by Ireland’s Juanita Wilson, Tomato Red is a gripping neo-noir that follows the fortunes of a drifter who hooks up with a disreputable family in a dusty American town. It cleverly subverts some of the tropes of the film noir genre and marks Wilson as a filmmaker to watch.
Believe it or not, I’m recommending a superhero movie this week. Logan pares down the genre to the bare basics, with Hugh Jackman making his final appearance as Wolverine in an X-Men spinoff set in 2029, when himself and Patrick Stewart’s Professor X are on their last legs. A refreshing adult take on a tired genre with blood, guts and most importantly, heart.
Certain Women is an engaging anthology drama consisting of three slightly inter-connected stories focussing on the travails of three everyday women, and features knockout performances from Michelle Williams, Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart and newcomer Lily Gladstone.
Irish duo Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson are miscast as English gypsies in Trespass Against Us, a movie that can’t decide if it’s a social realism drama in the Ken Loach mode or an action thriller from the Guy Ritchie school. It’s not bad as the latter but awful as the former.
By Eric Hillis of themoviewaffler.com