Another strong week for October, which doesn’t seem ready to slow down any time soon, the films this week might not be quite as good as last week (because Macbeth), but they’re still damn good. From rousing historical drama, the horror film of the year, and one of the most anticipated indie films of the season, there’s hardly a single bad thing about this week (I mean, there is – it’s not Macbeth on a loop), so go out and spend all your money and your time sat in a dark room watching awesomeness.
The week kicks off, in a shocking turn of events, on a Monday. It’s like Hollywood has finally realised there’s seven whole days in a week. Amazing. Anyway, our Monday film is Suffragette. The film is about the suffragette movement in the UK at the turn of the twentieth century, and for those who don’t know, the suffragettes were a group of women who went to extreme lengths campaigning for giving women the right to vote. Written by Abi Morgan (The Hour, Shame), and starring Carey Muligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw and Brendan Gleeson, the film received pretty impressive reactions when it premiered at the London Film Festival last week, with many people praising the acting (and, looking at the cast, how could they not?).
Straight on to Friday, where our second film is one of this month’s heavy-weights. Crimson Peak, a gothic horror from director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth), is one of those films that’s been hotly anticipated by lots of people since its first announcement way-back-when. The film tells the story of a young author who marries a dashing gentleman and moves into his home/mansion. There, she finds that her new husband and his sister are hiding a number of spooky-spooky-ghosts, and it all gets a bit weird (but in a good way). Another film with a ridiculously marvellous cast, Crimson Peak stars Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland, Lawless), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Interstellar), and Tom Hiddlestone (that awesome advert Jaguar did for the Super Bowl and y’know, come to think of it, maybe a few other things too.
Next up is a film that will be big, even if you don’t go to see it: Hotel Transylvania 2 has already cleaned up at the US box office, and is almost certain to do so here as well. The animated children film takes us back to the eponymous hotel seven years after the events of the first film, where Dracula’s grandson isn’t a vampire, and Dracula tries to make him a vampire, but Dracula’s father isn’t happy about this, and – it all gets a bit confusing, but it’s a kids’ film, I’m sure it’ll make sense if you actually go see it. With a – shall we say – eclectic cast, composed of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Steve Buscemi, and Nick Offerman (four actors I didn’t think would ever exist in the same sentence, but there you have it), the film has done well financially, but has been less than well received critically. It opens on Friday.
The first small film we have this week still manages to be one of the most hotly anticipated of the season. The Lobster, the English-language debut of acclaimed Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth), is an oddball sci-fi/romance/dark comedy thing. Starring Colin Farrell, the film is about a dystopian future in which single people are given a limited amount of time in a place called The Hotel to fall in love. If they fail to do so, they are turned into an animal. The film competed for the Palme d’Or at Cannes 2015, winning the Jury Prize there and has received universal acclaim, and just looks brilliantly strange. It receives limited release on Friday.
Another potential blockbuster this week is Pan. A retelling of the classic tale of Peter Pan, Pan creates an origin story of sorts for Peter and for Captain Hook, and stars Huge Jackman (X-Men), Rooney Mara (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and Cara Delevigne (Paper Towns). From director Joe Wright (Atonement, Anna Karenina), the film initially looked to be quite good, but having bombed at the US box office and been panned (get it?) by critics, it maybe isn’t quite what it may have been. Still, go see it if you want, it can’t hurt. It’s released on Friday.
Wrapping things up this week is The Program. A dramatised biopic of Lance Armstrong, the film is based on the book Seven Deadly Sins by journalist David Walsh, and is directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Philomena). It tells the story of Walsh’s 13-year struggle to reveal the truth about Armstrong’s doping to the world, and stars Ben Foster (The Messenger, 3:10 to Yuma) and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids, Calvary). It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September and has received high praise from critics – particularly Foster’s performance as Armstrong. The film is released on Friday.