Friday, 29 January 2016

For what it's worth...


Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office   
for the weekend of January 22-24, 2015:
 
  
1 (1) The Revenant (15) ***
2 (new) Ride Along 2 (12A)
3 (2Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12A) **
4 (new) The Big Short (15) ***
5 (3) Creed (12A) ****
6 (4) Daddy's Home (12A)
7 (7) Room (15) ****
8 (5) The Hateful Eight (18) **
9 (new) The 5th Wave (15) **
10 (6The Danish Girl (15) **

(source: theguardian.com)

My top five:   
   
1 (new) Legend (18) ***
2 (1) Jurassic World (12) **
3 (2) Ant-Man (12) ***
4 (3Minions (U)
5 (4) Terminator: Genisys (12)
6 (6) 45 Years (15) ****
7 (5) Ted 2 (15)
8 (7) Pixels (12) **
9 (9) No Escape (15) **
10 (10) Absolutely Anything (12) *

(source: lovefilm.com)
                                   
My top five:  
Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:   
1. The Incredibles [above] (Sunday, C4, 5.20pm)
2. My Brother the Devil (Sunday, BBC1, 11.30pm)
3. Hitch (Sunday, five, 5.15pm)
4. The Hole (Saturday, C4, 11.15pm)
5. True Grit (Sunday, BBC2, 10pm)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

"Airlift" (Guardian 26/01/16)


Airlift **
Dir: Raja Menon. With: Akshay Kumar, Nimrat Kaur, Feryna Wazheir, Inaamulhaq. 130 mins. Cert: 12A

In August 1990, an estimated 170,000 Indians were stranded in no-man’s-land after Iraqi tanks rolled into their adopted home of Kuwait. Frantic backroom negotiations followed between the Indian and Iraqi authorities; eventually, 488 Air India flights were cleared to leave for Bombay from neighbouring Jordan. To this day, the action remains the biggest civilian evacuation in aviation history, and a source of great – if underreported – pride to the parties involved. New movie Airlift, however, simplifies this incredibly complex operation to become little more than a vehicle for one man’s redemption.

That man is Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), fictional composite of several businessmen then operating in the Gulf. Early scenes in Raja Menon’s film go out of their way to ensure even the most dunderheaded of multiplex nacho-guzzlers will understand just what a wretch he is. He ignores his wife’s pleas not to drink too much; he upbraids his driver for listening to backward Bollywood hits. We get the idea pretty quickly: Ranjit is the picture of the bad Indian who’s forsaken his homeland in pursuit of bigger bucks – a sharp-suited mercenary who needs shaking from his complacency.

He will be, and the writers sound their cleverest note as the Iraqis invade. Generally keen to self-identify as a forward-thinking Kuwaiti – the pal of princes, a chum to CEOs – Ranjit is only too quick to wave his Indian passport, and thus claim immunity, when the invaders threaten his upward mobility. As this retelling has it, seeing their underlings shot was just the jolt callous penny-pinchers like Ranjit needed to redirect their resources towards getting their countrymen home. Yet while Menon has time to finesse this transition – for two hours, we’re watching characters getting nowhere by boat and bus – it’s never remotely convincing.

As such, Airlift continues its leading man’s topsy-turvy year. Kumar gave his most mature performance yet in a film nobody much cared for (August’s Brothers) before reverting to gurning, crowdpleasing type for October’s Singh is Bliing. With his salt-and-pepper stubble, he lends Ranjit undeniable authority – if he can resist the lure of franchise cinema, he’ll someday give a great performance in a worthwhile film – but he’s ill-served by this flimsy material. “I don’t want to be the Messiah,” Ranjit insists, but the film absolutely wants him to be, which renders Kumar’s subtler responses moot: Ranjit’s arc was settled long before the actor stepped into shot.

The sanctification process reduces Ranjit’s wife (Nimrat Kaur, so affecting in 2013’s The Lunchbox) to a terrible bore, forever lecturing non-believers as to her husband’s virtue. Worse, it necessitates demonising all those who would clip Ranjit’s wings. The more depraved Airlift makes its Iraqis – having them hang folk from cranes, grope young women, even slit a teddy bear’s belly – the phonier it gets as drama: you wonder why Menon didn’t go the whole hog and give them little green antennae and ray guns. As it is, the soldiers provide blessed relief, marching into every other scene and thereby breaking up the pious speechifying.

It’s possible this episode was, above anything else, a logistical triumph: accounts suggest the Indian and Iraqi delegations enjoyed cordial relations, which made the airlift easier to facilitate. Menon pulls some of it off: he reproduces that dusty look now de rigueur for Middle East movies, repositions his extras efficiently, and finally allows the Indian flag to be raised again. Yet the warm wads of dramatic dung tossed into this sandstorm prove wholly resistible. Airlift transports its characters the 2500 miles back to their promised land, as history demands, but I wouldn’t trust its underlying nationalism as far as I could throw it.

Airlift is now playing in cinemas nationwide.

Monday, 25 January 2016

For what it's worth...


Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office   
for the weekend of January 15-17, 2015:
 
  
1 (new) The Revenant (15) ***
2 (1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12A) **
3 (new) Creed (12A) ****
4 (3) Daddy's Home (12A)
5 (2) The Hateful Eight (18) **
6 (4) The Danish Girl (15) **
7 (new) Room (15) ****
8 (6) Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (U) **
9 (5) Joy (12A) ****
10 (new) Les Pecheurs de Perle: Met Opera 2016 (12A)

(source: theguardian.com)

My top five:   
   
1 (3) Jurassic World (12) **
2 (2) Ant-Man (12) ***
3 (4) Minions (U)
4 (6) Terminator: Genisys (12)
5 (new) Ted 2 (15)
6 (new) 45 Years (15) ****
7 (8) Pixels (12) **
8 (9) San Andreas (12)
9 (new) No Escape (15) **
10 (re) Absolutely Anything (12) *

(source: lovefilm.com)
                                   
My top five:  
Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:   
1. Walkabout [above] (Saturday, BBC2, 12.35am)
2. 48HRS. (Sunday, C4, 11.05pm)
3. Animal Farm (Saturday, BBC2, 6.55am)
4. Heist (Sunday, BBC2, 12.10am)
5. The Rookie (Friday, BBC2, 12.05am)

On DVD: "Star Men"


Star Men is a "let's get the band back together" documentary with a twist: rather than ageing rock stars, we're watching greying astronomers heading out on the road once more. The subjects of Alison Rose's film are four graduates of Cal-Tech - three Cambridge scholars, and an American chum - who come to be reunited in California, on a road trip touring the sites of many of their greatest discoveries a half-century before. As one of the English contingent says upon his arrival on the West Coast, immediately establishing a tone for the whole venture: "Jolly good".

Much of what follows is indeed just gentle enough for Silver Screen viewing. Interviewed separately, the astronomers rake over memories of their wartime childhoods, their college days, and the effects Hubble et al. had on their thinking; once bundled in the same car, these old boys engage in mild ribbing about the public school system, and there's a minor crisis as their vehicle gets stuck in the snow. It could have functioned perfectly well as no more and no less than a document of four duffers on wheels, and yet Rose - a more curious filmmaker than these initial interactions suggests - senses that astronomy is a science possessed of a spectacle and wonder that lends itself remarkably well to a cinema screen.

Roofs open to let light in on vast hillside telescopes; Rose's own camera pores over the colour maps of stars her subjects proffer by way of credentials; timelapse footage details the firmament shifting o'er our heads. Visually, the film is as in thrall to the heavens as the astronomers are themselves, but Rose also has an ear for the philosophy that lies behind that which the star men practice: she's happy, as we are, just to sit at her subjects feet and listen, a skill often undervalued in contemporary documentary. We're thereby offered an insight into how the astronomers linked up their data with what Darwin had observed on the ground a century or so before, the kind of innately fascinating proof that would justify the rental cost on its own; any Dawkins-ish militancy as to the supremacy of science over religion is tempered by the speakers' stout C-of-E upbringings: they politely suggest there's more than one way of seeing and seeking out higher things.

The film attains another level entirely when, prompted by the frailty of one of their travelling companions, the men start to ponder the great beyond - what death represents to them, what it means to us all; whether, in the grand, galactic timescale of things, 'tis better to burn out than fade away. The result forms the sort of independently produced documentary no suit would commission - in its emphasis on empirical data and lived experience, it's not "sexy", in the pitchable sense - yet which actually proves immensely engaging and rewarding to watch: by not rushing to judgement and playing a cosmically long game, these guys have come to make sense of at least a part of what can often seem a pretty senseless universe. Men this naturally self-effacing would doubtless reject any term so dramatic as hero, but you do emerge from Rose's marvellously inquisitive, questing film convinced we could do with more of their wise, quietly profound kind.

Star Men is available on DVD through Verve Pictures.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

"Rajini Murugan" (Guardian 18/01/16)


Rajini Murugan ***
Dir: Ponram. With: Sivakarthikeyan, Rajkiran, Keerthi Suresh, Soori. 149 mins. Cert: 12A

The past weekend’s Pongal festival – marking the point at which the sun begins its six-month ascent through the firmament – has yielded a full crop of Tamil releases. For some while, it looked like the comedy Rajini Murugan might never appear from behind the clouds. The second collaboration between writer-director Ponram and stand-up Sivakarthikeyan fell subject to (not uncommon) production delays and then worse luck besides: its initial release date coincided with the Chennai floods, a moment when those cinemas not underwater were serving as makeshift shelters. Yet the film that emerges proves so spirited one concludes no deity could hold it back: certainly, the packed matinee crowd I saw it with appeared delighted it had arrived.

The choice of Madurai, Tamil Nadu’s third largest city, as a location opens up fresh locations for a filmmaker to explore, and new conventions to mock: as the opening voiceover establishes, this temple city nevertheless retains a reputation for harbouring all manner of rogues and thieves. While our narrator takes pains to debunk this notoriety, the film immediately undercuts him upon introducing Siva’s title character, a born loafer who spends his days pinching pennies from the administrators of the city’s endless festivals so as to avoid doing any real work. Very quickly, we sense we’re watching both a love letter to Madurai, and a spot of site-specific mischief-making.

Recounting our hero’s misadventures involves a measure of sketchiness: Western viewers may be reminded of any number of showcases for Saturday Night Live comics, a similarity underlined by the script’s copious in-jokes and leftfield references. This style can try the patience over two hours; at two-and-a-half, you might think Rajini doomed, but Ponram has a secret comic weapon: a hyper-frenetic approach that extends from the leading man’s machine-gun delivery to his agitated back-and-forths with best bud Thotathree (Soori) and beyond. A funeral ceremony unravels when the deceased rises from the dais; an aged bureaucrat gabbles so intently at a public meeting that his false teeth fly out.

No, it’s not subtle, but for an apparently simple slacker comedy, it’s working hard to entertain us, sustained by the kind of clever structuring idea the Tamil cinema now specialises in. In order to gaze upon his beloved Karthika (Keerthy Suresh), our Raj cobbles together a phoney teashop opposite her home – and, against all expectation, makes a success of this utterly impromptu, half-arsed venture. Though it follows a skittish route, some transformation is thus visited upon the protagonist: in the course of the only form of work he’s willing to commit to – getting into a young woman’s underwear – the planet’s least ambitious individual is reinvented as a wholly self-made man.

The consequences can be predictable – yes, our accidentally mobile hero rubs up against local gangsters – and the denouement, in which Raj has to close a deal on his grandpa’s property, feels less fun than the set-up: despite the film’s irreverent flourishes, it remains at heart conservative, a movie about the making of an estate agent. Yet Sivakarthikeyan breezes very likably through every transaction, gaining amusing support from Gnanasanbandam as his weary headmaster pa, and Achuthanand as the pompous prospective father-in-law. Like its dark-horse hero, it’s dragged its feet getting here, but Rajini Murugan finally comes through as a crowdpleaser that needed to reach its audience, come hell or perilously high water.

Rajini Murugan is now playing in selected cinemas.

Friday, 15 January 2016

For what it's worth...


Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office   
for the weekend of January 8-10, 2015:
 
  
1 (1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12A) **
2 (new) The Hateful Eight (18) **
3 (2) Daddy's Home (12A)
4 (4) The Danish Girl (15) **
5 (3) Joy (12A) ****
6 (5) Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (U) **
7 (6) The Good Dinosaur (PG)
8 (8) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (12A)
9 (7) In the Heart of the Sea (12A) **
10 (re) Bridge of Spies (12A) *****

(source: theguardian.com)

My top five:   
1. Room [above]
2. Creed
3. Le Mépris
4. Joy
5. The Revenant


Top Ten DVD rentals:  
   
1 (1) Inside Out (U) ****
2 (2) Ant-Man (12) ***
3 (3) Jurassic World (12) **
4 (new) Minions (U)
5 (4) Mad Max: Fury Road (15) ****
6 (5) Terminator: Genisys (12)
7 (7) Pitch Perfect 2 (12) **
8 (6) Pixels (12) **
9 (9San Andreas (12)
10 (new) Magic Mike XXL (15) **

(source: lovefilm.com)
                                   
My top five:  
Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:   
1. Headhunters (Sunday, BBC2, 11pm)
2. Get Him to the Greek (Friday, C4, 12.55am)
3. Prizzi's Honor (Wednesday, C4, 2.25am)
4. Spider (Saturday, BBC2, 12.45am)
5. Fast & Furious 6 (Saturday, C4, 9pm)

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

"Wazir" (Guardian 11/01/16)


Wazir ***
Dir: Bejoy Nambiar. With: Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar, Aditi Rao Hydari, Neil Nitin Mukesh. 102 mins. Cert: 12A

Around the millennium, the venerable Indian writer-director-producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra was set to make his Hollywood debut with Chess – nothing to do with the musical, but a self-penned thriller about a traumatised cop that circled the studios with such names as Dustin Hoffman attached. The vagaries of 21st century production meant Chopra had to wait until last year’s Broken Horses to take his American bow, but traces of Chess have apparently persisted into Wazir, a plan B – delegated to emergent director Bejoy Nambiar – which arrives bearing The Big B: Amitabh Bachchan, who collaborated with Chopra on 2007’s fine Eklavya, assumes the chewy character part Hoffman would surely have been eyeing.

Nambiar’s film begins as a no-nonsense Bollywood policier: the sappiest song goes upfront to help define a family unit shattered forever by a moment of madness. The man responsible is Delhi detective Daanish (Farhan Akhtar), whose rash-to-poor decision-making in pursuit of one heavy directly results in the loss of his wife and child. Fate subsequently conspires to land this miserable figure on the doorstep of Pandit Dhar (Bachchan), the amputee grandmaster who coached Daanish’s daughter before her demise. Spying unprocessed pain in his visitor’s eyes – “The biggest enemy is time; it just doesn’t seem to pass” – Pandit proposes they play a game or two as a means of beating the clock.

What follows proves intriguingly poised. The fear, at least early on, is that Wazir will devolve into a sentimental drama about chess’s capacity to still the mind and soothe the savage breast – the kind of project 1990s Hollywood had already done rather well by (Innocent Moves, Fresh). Yet Chopra and Nambiar are savvy enough to leave in manoeuvres that make us question who’s playing whom here. When Pandit dispatches Daanish to investigate the mysterious passing of his own daughter – found at the foot of a powerful politician’s stairs – it reawakens the detective’s numbed instincts, while setting the audience to wonder what good this pawn’s errand is really going to do him.

This inbuilt ambiguity – that Daanish’s second chance might just be Pandit’s powerplay – owes much to Bachchan’s ability to describe both a genial host and something more shaded; Hoffman would surely have struggled to summon a comparable hum of menace. Against him, Akhtar – perhaps better known as a blockbuster director (Don) – offers a very solid defence as a protagonist who realises he still has some fight left in him. And there’s another colourful part for the increasingly prominent Neil Nitin Mukesh (Prem Ratan Dhan Payo) as a cackling sociopath who willingly introduces himself as The Queen. (Any American version would have had to do a lot of explaining around him.)

Nambiar gives their interactions a low-level, pulpy style, seeking out little felicities of framing that indicate a thoughtful imagemaker doing his best to outwit his mentor and make this project his own: at one point, the chequered flooring of Pandit’s rec room allows Bachchan’s rookish grandmaster to position himself between the hero and his beloved. By the third-act relocation to Kashmir, Wazir has turned out somewhat more distinctive than it might have done in California: if there’s something faintly absurd about the equation of characters to pieces, Chopra and Nambiar – wily teacher and keen student – move them around the board with dexterity and efficiency. It’s a fun game to watch.

Wazir is now playing in cinemas nationwide.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

For what it's worth...


Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office   
for the weekend of January 1-3, 2015:
 
  
1 (1) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12A) **
2 (new) Daddy's Home (12A)
3 (new) Joy (12A) ****
4 (new) The Danish Girl (15) **
5 (new) Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (U) **
6 (3) The Good Dinosaur (PG)
7 (new) In the Heart of the Sea (12A) **
8 (5) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (12A)
9 (6) SPECTRE (12A) ***
10 (new) Branagh Theatre Live: A Winter's Tale (PG)

(source: theguardian.com)

My top five:   
1. Le Mépris
2. Joy
3. Bolshoi Babylon [above]
4. Wazir
5. A War


Top Ten DVD rentals:  
   
1 (1) Inside Out (U) ****
2 (2) Ant-Man (12) ***
3 (3) Jurassic World (12) **
4 (4) Mad Max: Fury Road (15) ****
5 (5) Terminator: Genisys (12)
6 (new) Pixels (12) **
7 (6) Pitch Perfect 2 (12) **
8 (8) Joe and Caspar Hit the Road (12)
9 (7San Andreas (12)
10 (new) Absolutely Anything (12) *

(source: lovefilm.com)
                                   
My top five:  

Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:   
1. 17 Again (Sunday, C4, 4pm)
2. A Simple Plan (Tuesday, BBC1, 11.40pm)
3. The Peacemaker (Saturday, BBC1, 12midnight)
4. Footloose (Sunday, C4, 11.30pm)
5. The Importance of Being Earnest (Saturday, BBC2, 8.40am)

Friday, 8 January 2016

On demand: "Sherlock: The Abominable Bride"


As the screens that occupy our living spaces get bigger, the boundaries separating cinema from television become ever more permeable. It was reported this week that Netflix has now accomplished its mission to set up shop across the globe as the most convenient of repertory cinemas; you may choose to watch upon it the Wachowski brothers/Tom Tykwer collaboration Sense8, and - with the possible exception of certain sequences in Mad Max: Fury Roadthere was nothing more spectacular and exhilarating to behold last year than that show's opening credits; or alternatively the small-screen spin-off from the Coen brothers' Fargo, which has, over its two seasons, consistently surpassed its inspiration for dynamic, deep-focus framing. How do mainstream movies respond? In the case of the current Best Picture frontrunner, Tom McCarthy's incoming Spotlight, it's to assume the self-effacing form of an HBO miniseries. Our images are in a state of some flux.

The BBC, for their part, have spotted that this osmosis opens up another potentially profitable revenue stream: they enjoyed a quantifiable box-office hit upon screening the Doctor Who episode The Day of the Doctor theatrically in November 2013, and this week beamed the New Year's Sherlock special The Abominable Bride into cinemas on the same night it premiered on the box. It is a sign of how the times are changing that no-one at the Beeb had the foresight to put the 1987 Brush Strokes Christmas special on at the Odeon - not even with the considerable carrot of a Karl Howman Q&A - but then, for at least an hour of its running time, The Abominable Bride is framed as a one-off beamed in from an alternate dimension, one that puts the series' modernisation of Holmes on hold to demonstrate that overseers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss can rethink Conan Doylisms just as well as they can outthink Guy Ritchie. Accordingly, these ninety minutes, tellingly listed as Season 4 Episode 0, offer a 19th century intrigue - woman apparently comes back from self-sacrifice to avenge herself on her husband and others - that plays out in period dress, between horse-drawn carriages. If you can't beat Downton in the ratings, join 'em. (The BBC's other much-heralded New Year event: a six-part retelling of War and Peace.)

I should confess that I've only dipped in and out of the series up to this point, but I was struck, even during this anomaly, by how relaxed and fluid the show's own boundaries are - a boon in the often inflexible field of costume drama. Holmes's parlour becomes first a crime scene, then a channeling space; in this reality, a female mortician (Louise Brealey, catching the panto spirit) is obliged to don a moustache to get ahead in her male-dominated field. Having established the rules of this universe over previous seasons, one senses Moffat and Gatiss beginning to make merry, even mischief in the gaps. It's a fun process to observe, and the Cumberbatch/Freeman partnership remains far wittier and sharper - possessed of lighter hands and swifter minds - than the blunt-force commercial pairing of Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law in the Ritchie films: the actors have a nice, still-functioning comic rapport premised on Watson's ability to see Sherlock for who he really is - a scared, if high-functioning, control freak - while nevertheless insisting on printing the legend. (This will perhaps be obvious to long-time fans, but here Moffat and Gatiss really have brought something new to the canon: a Watson who's no chump, and acutely aware of his role as an enabler. See also: Andrew Scott's quasi-abstract depiction of Moriarty, less a criminal mastermind who needs to be brought to justice than a taunting character defect that needs to be suppressed - an embodiment of the sleuth's depressive, defeatist tendencies.)

Moffat's delight in wordplay - evident as far back as personal kids-TV favourite Press Gang - hasn't abated: it's evident in Watson's huffy response to a domestic ("I'll have a word with my wife to have a word with you", immediately delineating status within this household), and the bet Sherlock makes with this reality's obese Mycroft (Gatiss, under latex) as to the age at which his brother's lamentable diet will get the better of him ("You're gambling with your own life!"). The immediate Twitter consensus was that The Abominable Bride featured far too much of this messiness and mucking about, but those not racing to fire off 140-character mid-show hot takes might have spotted how the plot actually functions in the manner of a compendium. Every one of its multiple subplots and loose ends - the wave of copycat killings investigated by Rupert Graves' Inspector Lestrade; Catherine McCormack as an aristocrat patronised by hubby Tim McInnerny; a case Scott's Moriarty refers to in passing - circles back to the unifying theme: the stiff, cranky way men sometimes relate to women, and the extreme measures women are sometimes forced to take in order to make their presence felt.

Yes, you could accuse Moffat and Gatiss of opportunism - that this is Sherlock jumping on the creaky, hardly turbo-charged Suffragette bandwagon - and there's a specific problem with attempting to shoehorn feminism into this particular male-authored, male-led whodunnit format, in that it requires sisterhood to be treated as an aberration that must, at the last, be explained away by rational men. (One intriguing wrinkle: in their own rather dismissive interactions with the fairer sex, the script depicts Holmes and Watson as just as culpable in this respect as anybody on screen - there's an attempt to critique the all-consuming bromance of the Ritchie movies, in a special that insists all its characters learn from the past to progress in the present tense.) I hear the frustrations of the fans who'd rather the series kick along in its usual mode and tie up outstanding matters - frustrations presumably felt more keenly when only three or four episodes are produced at a time. When Cumberbatch and Freeman are placed at our disposal for a few nights of the year, why are we spending all this time exploring the back alleys of the hero's imagination? Still, for this viewer at least, there remained a pleasure to be taken from spending time there, and this series is now such a juggernaut - and, crucially, still so evidently a source of enjoyment for its participants - that there will surely be further opportunities to proceed, whatever the screen size.

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride can be watched here until the end of the month, and is available on DVD from Monday.

Friday, 1 January 2016

For what it's worth...


Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office   
for the weekend of December 18-20, 2015:
 
  
1 (new) Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12A) **
2 (new) Sisters (15) **
3 (2) The Good Dinosaur (PG)
4 (new) Dilwale (12A) **
5 (1) The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (12A)
6 (3SPECTRE (12A) ***
7 (new) Bajirao Mastani (12A) ****
8 (5) Christmas with the Coopers (12A)
9 (4Bridge of Spies (12A) *****
10 (re) It's a Wonderful Life (U) *****

(source: theguardian.com)

My top five:   
1. Le Mépris [above]
2. Joy
3. Bajirao Mastani
4. Audition 
5. Hector


Top Ten DVD rentals:  
   
1 (1) Inside Out (U) ****
2 (2) Ant-Man (12) ***
3 (3) Jurassic World (12) **
4 (4) Mad Max: Fury Road (15) ****
5 (new) Terminator: Genisys (12)
6 (6) Pitch Perfect 2 (12) **
7 (7) San Andreas (12)
8 (6) Joe and Caspar Hit the Road (12)
9 (10) Fast & Furious 7 (12) ***
10 (re) John Wick (15) ***

(source: lovefilm.com)
                                   
My top five:  

Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:   
1. From Russia with Love (Saturday, ITV1, 2.45pm)
2. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Friday, ITV1, 11.10pm)
3. Mission: Impossible (Saturday, C4, 4.50pm)
4. Amy (Friday, C4, 9pm)
5. Horror Hospital (Saturday, BBC2, 2am)