Cinema Roundup September 5th

0Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens delivers an entirely different type of performance in the outstanding thriller The Guest. Claiming to have served in Afghanistan with a killed in action soldier, he ingratiates himself into the dead man’s family, but it soon becomes clear all is not what it seems with this charismatic young man. The movie is the best I’ve seen all year, and keeps you gripped from beginning to end, delivering the sort of well told, unpretentious story we rarely see from American cinema today.

Jennifer Aniston goes straight in Life of Crime. Based on a novel by the late Elmore Leonard, this one is something of a prequel to Tarantino’s Jackie Brown, featuring three of the same characters. The movie seems to take its stylistic cues from Tarantino, and as a result feels dated by a couple of decades. The cast is impressive though, with Aniston delivering her best performance since 2002’s The Good Girl.

The Hundred Foot Journey is a culture clash comedy that sees a family of Indian refugees open a restaurant across the street from one of France’s most respected eateries. The film looks beautiful and will have your mouth watering with its array of glossily lit fine cuisine, but there wasn’t enough meat on its bones for this reviewer.

Turkey of the week comes in the form of Before I Go To Sleep, an adaptation of a bestselling novel. This takes the plot of the Adam Sandler comedy 50 First Dates, and reworks it into a psychological thriller, with Nicole Kidman as an amnesiac who wakes each morning with no memory of who she is. It’s an interesting premise, but the movie gets bogged down with plotholes and inconsistencies.

Rereleased at the Irish Film Institute is Fritz Lang’s 1931 thriller M. A dark tale of the hunt for a child killer, the movie made a star out of its bug-eyed villain Peter Lorre, who went on to a career playing notable creeps in Hollywood.

By Eric Hillis

Image: Movie of the Week, The Guest