Thursday 17 September 2015


Short, hopefully sharp, reviews of 5 new films I’ve seen recently, including Straight Outta Compton (pictured below), ranked from best to worst. SPOILER WARNING: My review of The New Girlfriend reveals a major plot point not given away in the trailer.

The New Girlfriend
(director: François Ozon)
Sizzling French comedy-drama about a woman who discovers the husband of her recently-deceased best friend is a transvestite. Not preachy or angst-ridden, Ozon’s film is instead funny, provocative, human and a joy from beginning to end. Both leads - Romain Duris (Mood Indigo) and Anaïs Demoustier (Elles) - are terrific.
Rating: WWWW

45 Years
(director: Andrew Haigh)
Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are the married couple about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary when a ghost from the past threatens to destroy everything they hold dear. It’s an astonishing, heartbreaking drama replete with two superb central performances.
Rating: WWWW

Straight Outta Compton
(director: F Gary Gray)
Biopic of ’80s rap legends NWA that not only sanitises their controversial history but ultimately gets a bit bogged down in the group’s disintegration over contract disputes. The first half’s cracking though as is the music.
Rating: WWW

Buttercup Bill
(directors: Remy Bennett, Émilie Richard-Froozan)
Off-kilter melodrama about two childhood ‘soul mates’ that meet up again years later following the death of an old friend. Suffused with sexual tension and an undercurrent of menace, it takes a while to get going but builds into something disturbing and intriguing. Great soundtrack too.
Rating: WWW

Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
(director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Cancer comedy-drama that, whilst refreshingly un-mawkish, is instead dragged down by irritating characters (especially Thomas Mann's Greg) and a surfeit of US indie movie quirk. Nick Offerman and Connie Britton - as Greg's parents - are wasted. I found it all a bit of a chore, to be honest.
Rating: WW


WWWW = Wonderful
WWW = Worthwhile
WW = Watchable
W = Woeful

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