Cinema Roundup: May 9th

breaking awayThe opening stages of the prestigious cycling race the Giro d’Italia take place in Ireland this weekend and to celebrate, Meeting House Square is hosting free screenings of two cycling themed movies: Bicycle Thieves on Saturday at 10pm and Breaking Away on Sunday at 10pm. There’s not much more to be said about Vittorio de Sica’s 1948 slice of social realism as it’s one of the most critically acclaimed films of all time. Peter Yates’ Breaking Away, however, is an under-rated gem that has sadly been forgotten since winning a Best Original Screenplay Oscar in 1979 and is well worth revisiting, especially for free!

The best of this week’s new releases is the atmospheric French drama Before the Winter Chill. It’s the story of a middle aged neurosurgeon, played by Gallic legend Daniel Auteil, who finds his life disrupted by a series of encounters with a younger woman who he grows increasingly attracted to. All is not what it seems however with this young lady. The movie gets bogged down occasionally in awkward social commentary but for the most part it’s an interesting and melancholic mood piece.

Frank is the latest film from acclaimed Irish director Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & Paul, Garage, What Richard Did) and his highest profile effort yet. It stars Michael Fassbender but the ladies will be disappointed to hear his face is obscured throughout by a giant Frank Sidebottom mask. A poor man’s Almost Famous, the film tells the tale of a troubled musician and the naive young wannabe (Domhnall Gleeson) he takes under his wing. Frank has divided audiences and for me personally it grated like nails on a chalkboard with its level of twee, but some are raving about it.

The Wind Rises is the final film from cult Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and tells the story of the engineer who designed Japan’s WWII fighter planes. My NewsFour colleague Rúairí tells me it’s a must see for animation fans.

An aging Arnie returns to the screens in Sabotage, a gritty thriller that sees the former Governor of California playing a more nuanced character than we’re used to seeing, but it’s a dull movie that relies too much on shock value.

Two new documentaries open this week: Next Goal Wins, a look at American Samoa’s national soccer team, considered the worst in world football, and Advanced Style, which highlights the world of fashion blogging. I could be really sexist about who the target audiences might be for each movie but I have enough trouble to contend with as is.

By Eric Hillis

Image: Movie of the Week, Breaking Away