Another fairly slow week, which features several crimey, thrillery things, a British directorial debut, and, as the main feature, a vampire photographing James Dean whilst being in a kind of subtly homoerotic relationship with him. Sound fun?
First up this week is 99 Homes, an American drama by director Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop). The film follows a man forcibly evicted from his house by a corrupt real estate broker, whom he then has to work for in exchange for being able to reclaim his house, whereby he is quickly sucked into the glamorous, violent word brokering. The film stars Andrew Garfield (The Social Network, The Amazing Spider-Man) and Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road, Boardwalk Empire), and screened to much acclaim at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. It opens on Friday.
The second film out this week is Captive, a crime thriller based on the book Unlikely Angels by Ashley Smith. Based on a true story, the film tells of a man on trial for rape escaping the courthouse and taking a woman (Ashley Smith, the author of the book) hostage. Starring David Oyelowo (Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Selma) and Kate Mara (House of Cards), the film received generally negative reviews on its release in the US, though Oyelowo and Mara were praised for their performances. The film is released on Friday.
Up next is a British black comedy by the name of Just Jim. The film – which is the directorial debut of Craig Roberts (Submarine) – tells the story of a lonely Welsh teenager who sees a chance to increase his popularity when a cool American moves in next door. Roberts also stars in the film (he is, after all, an actor), which has received mixed praise, generally being seen as a decent but otherwise unremarkable debut for the young actor. The film receives a limited release on Friday.
This week’s big film is Life, a James Dean biopic, which focuses on the actor’s friendship with photographer Dennis Stock. Directed by acclaimed photographer Anton Corbijn (Control, The American), the film stars Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan and has received fairly positive praise, particularly for DeHaan’s portrayal of the iconic James Dean, and for Pattinson’s performance, which is basically hailed as being the anti-Twilight (read: of the highest quality). The film is released on Friday (do I have to say this? They’re all always released on Friday).
Drew Barrymore stars in the next film, Miss You Already, a comedy-drama about two best friends whose lives are disrupted (to say the least) when one decides to start a family, and the other falls seriously ill. The film, which screened at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, has received mixed praise from critics, and co-stars Toni Collete, Dominic Cooper, and Paddy Considine. It opens Friday.
Our final film this week is Solace, a mystery thriller starring Anthony Hopkins and Colin Farrell which actually, weirdly enough, began life as a sequel to David Fincher’s Se7en. The film follows a psychic who teams up with an FBI agent in order to catch a serial killer (the detective dramas are leaking from TV into film). Receiving its premiere in, of all places, Turkey, the film screened at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, and has again received mixed reviews. It opens on Friday.