Cinema roundup: June 13th

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Sarah GadonBelle is a period movie with a difference. Set in the late 18th century, it’s the true story of a mixed race heiress and her role in the abolition of Britain’s slave trade. Stylistically, it’s a little too close to a BBC costume drama, but it’s a fascinating legal drama with a cast of quality British thesps, including Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Penelope Wilton, as well as talented newcomer Gugu Mbatha-raw in the title role.

It’s been a quiet year for horror movies; Oculus is the first we’ve gotten since January’s Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones. The story of an evil mirror, it’s not quite as daft as that premise might suggest. Perhaps it should have been daft, as the movie takes itself a bit too seriously and it’s not much fun as a result. Kudos to the film-makers, though, for not peppering their film with lazy jump scares based around noisy sound effects.

The week’s oddest release is the Icelandic Of Horses & Men, an episodic equine extravaganza consisting of short vignettes featuring horses and their owners. None of the stories are particularly satisfying, however, so unless you’re a horse lover, best to say “Neigh” to this one.

Amélie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet returns with another whimsical tale in the form of The Young & Prodigious TS Spivet. This one features a young boy who leaves his home to travel to Washington DC and accept an award for his invention of a perpetual motion machine. The movie is cluttered with unnecessary subplots and over-characterisation but it has its charms and is visually stunning.

Devil’s Knot is a dramatisation of the infamous West Memphis Three case, in which three young men were convicted of the murder of three young boys, despite overwhelming evidence pointing towards their innocence. A full review can be found in the current issue of NewsFour.

A string of faith based movies have been storming the US box office in recent months and Heaven is for Real is the first to make its way across the Atlantic. Based on a bestselling “non-fiction” book, it’s the “true” story of a Pastor’s son who claims to have visited Heaven while under-going emergency surgery. Whether you’re a Christian or a non-believer, you’ll likely find this film’s representation of spirituality grossly offensive.

To celebrate Bloomsday on Monday 16th June, The Sugar Club is hosting an interactive screening of the 1967 film adaptation of Ulysses. Those attending are encouraged to dress up in their finest Joycean outfits, and prizes will be awarded to the best dressed attendee.

By Eric Hillis

Image: Movie of the Week, Belle.