Sunday, 17 June 2018

From the archive: "All Is Lost"

The American writer-director J.C. Chandor is fascinated by crisis management. This keenest of interests was first revealed in last year’s classy Margin Call, which charted the behind-the-scenes manoeuvrings at a Manhattan brokerage firm as news of its misdemeanours went public. Now Chandor pursues the theme into more abstract waters with All is Lost, a tautly sustained parable that invites reading as another take on our current economic turbulence, or a secular riposte to last year’s big Christmas hit Life of Pi, or simply as what it appears to be: the tale of an ordinary man enduring the worst week of his life.

The man remains nameless (the credits bill him as “Our Man”), but he’s immediately recognisable as Robert Redford, that totemic figure of white liberal America. When we first see him, he’s snoozing below decks on a yacht bobbing comfortably along in isolation on the waters of the Sumatran straits – until it’s struck by an errant cargo container, possibly of Asian origin, holding a payload of cheap trainers. Assess the situation as you will.

The collision breaches the hull, causing the boat to take on water at an alarming rate – and thereafter Chandor displays a commendable faith in the notion that watching this man making repairs to his stricken vessel (tinkering with a fritzing radio, pumping out the water pooling below deck) will be enough to stick us to our seats.

The recent Gravity was acclaimed for its pared-down approach, but that far flashier experience sought to impress and immerse the viewer from its very first rotations. All is Lost, workmanlike in the best sense, builds gradually, with not much more at its disposal than Redford and the elements. Yet the two films’ effects aren’t dissimilar. Steve Boeddeker’s sound design allows us to hear and feel a storm blowing in from some distance; when it hits, we’re left in no doubt as to what it is to be struck by a wave, and left clinging on for dear life.

For, yes, this is another of those late 2013 endurance tests that have forced famous faces – like the rest of us – to work that much harder for their money. After several years in which Redford looked to be coasting, both before and behind the camera, it’s stirring to see him properly exercised – in part because there’s so little else occupying the frame. The actor still has the intelligence to persuade us he’d be able to improvise some way out of his troubles, but also to suggest that this generally capable man is equally smart enough to realise he’s in serious trouble, and that he might not have the resources to stem the tide.

You could say this mainstream minimalism is nothing more than a reaction to the bloated spectacles prevalent elsewhere these days, and that it’s not without its own problems. Just as some viewed Gravity as no more than a series of beautifully orchestrated close shaves, there will surely be those who cavil at All is Lost’s jettisoning of context and exposition.

But then again: Chandor’s ruthless approach fixes Gravity’s issues with consoling spectres and backstory; Redford’s mid-film F-bomb arguably conveys everything we need to know about the sailor’s mindset; and maybe, just maybe, context and exposition are among the first luxuries washed away in a scenario like this – that it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you’re coming from, when you’re facing the deluge in a boat tossed and turned such that the floor is now the ceiling. All is Lost inhabits the moment – our moment – and does so in ways very few films released this year have.

(MovieMail, December 2013)

All is Lost screens on Channel 4 tonight at midnight.

Friday, 15 June 2018

For what it's worth...

Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office 
for the weekend of June 8-10, 2018:

1 (new) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (12A) ***

2 (1) Solo: a Star Wars Story (12A) ***
3 (2Deadpool 2 (15) **
4 (5) Book Club (12A)
5 (3Avengers: Infinity War (12A) ***
6 (4) Sherlock Gnomes (U) **
7 (8) Blade Runner: The Final Cut (15) ****
8 (6Show Dogs (PG) *
9 (new) Kaala (12A)
10 (new) McQueen (15)


My top five: 
1. The Piano [above]

2. All the Wild Horses
3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
4. Veere Di Wedding
5. Pandora's Box

Top Ten DVD sales: 

1 (new) Darkest Hour (PG) **
2 (1) The Greatest Showman (PG)
3 (new) Den of Thieves (15) **
4 (2) Early Man (PG)
5 (3) Coco (PG) ***
6 (new) Journey's End (12) ***
7 (5) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (12)
8 (new) Bobby Robson: More Than a Manager (12)
9 (4) Maze Runner: The Death Cure (12)
10 (21) Dunkirk (12) ***


My top five: 
1. 120 Beats Per Minute

2. The Wound
3. Loveless
4. Journey's End
5. The Mercy

Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:
1. Sexy Beast (Friday, C4, 12.10am)
2. All is Lost (Sunday, C4, 12midnight)
3. Begin Again (Sunday, BBC2, 10.50pm)
4. Mad Max (Friday, ITV, 11.45pm)
5. The Green Hornet (Saturday, five, 3.10am)

Footnotes: "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom"

All anybody can now remember about Jurassic World - a billion-dollar megahit as recently as 2015 - is Bryce Dallas Howard in incongruous high heels. That was it: two hours of much-ballyhooed multiplex content squandering a budget of $150m on wall-to-wall visual effects and setpiece after setpiece, and the only thing that lodged in the mind for any length of time was the impracticality of the female lead's footwear choices. Could there be any greater sign of how rapidly our bigger movies recede and dwindle in the imagination? After a quarter-century of Jurassic sequels and ripoffs and reboots, computer-generated dinosaurs are no longer the wondrous anomalies they once were, but a movie commonplace, as familiar to 21st century multiplexgoers as the characters in the Ice Age franchise or TV's Peppa Pig. With the awe and wonder diminished or gone, all that was left for us to marvel at in Jurassic World was the sight of an especially dainty female representative of the homo sapiens genus somehow managing to outsprint a velociraptor while shod in Jimmy Choos.

Talking point that they were, the shoes are back in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: indeed, Howard's dino-scholar Claire is even reintroduced feet first, a signal that incoming director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, A Monster Calls) has absorbed and understood some of the lessons of the big yet crashingly empty reboot. Although Fallen Kingdom does much to expand this franchise's scope - transporting characters and viewers alike from a Jurassic park to the prospect of the titular Jurassic world - it feels an appreciably smaller and better-managed movie than its vapid predecessor, peeling back Jurassic World's deadeningly mock-Crichtonian carapace of corporate intrigue (which always seemed like a flattering sop to those Universal suits charged with kickstarting this sleeping giant of a series), and operating a good deal closer to the roots and spirit of those man-versus-monster B-movies (The Lost World, King Kong) on which the early Jurassic films were raised.

What emerges qualifies for legitimate action-adventure status: it's no more or less than a yarn about a mission - undertaken by Claire and dino-handler Owen (Chris Pratt), underwritten by shady businessman Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) - to rescue those beasts left on Isla Nublar at the end of the reboot, and to do so before a massive volcano pops its top. Gone is that tedious, self-justifying mythology the series accumulated over successive sequels and rethinks; what's left behind is unmistakably lighter in weight, but also a movie that moves nevertheless, rerouting this franchise in an intriguing new direction, no matter what footwear its individual characters might be running in.

Seasoned blockbuster watchers might still be taken aback at how a PG-rated event movie from 1993 continues to stand as several gasps and shudders more visceral and terrifying than a 12A-rated work releasing in 2018. (These New Blockbusters - more often sketches than fully-formed pictures, dashed off to strike while a given commercial iron is hot - have underlined how the American mainstream cinema really hasn't moved on from Spielberg, an arrested development Spielberg himself seemed to acknowledge upon making the transition into prestige historical dramas. The movie brat grew up, even as the genre he did so much to define did not.) 

Fallen Kingdom has a handful of clever setpieces - a tranquillised Owen having to urge his benumbed body away from spreading sheets of lava, a sequence that locks the leads inside a shipping container with a dozing dino - but they're rushed through rather than lingered over for any duration. Where Spielberg would have terrorised us for a ten-minute stretch, Bayona whips us through inside five, partly because he knows there's something similar on its way - if this script is good for anything, it's as a moderate-peril delivery system - and partly out of a desire to bring everybody back to the mainland, and to the John Hammond Memorial Museum, where he can cast Geraldine Chaplin and more of his signature Gothic shadows.

This second hour actually goes beyond 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park in its efforts to domesticate the diplodocus, and after the altogether bleak thespwaste of the first reboot (poor Judy Greer), it's encouraging to see the series looking back towards Spielberg's more characterful original. Yes, it remains perverse that the reboots should have recruited Pratt, the era's pre-eminent bestubbled clown, just to hand him barely a twentieth of the so-so zingers he gets in his Guardians of the Galaxy outings. (My suspicion is that he's been cast for his ability to perform forward rolls in front of green screens, much as he used to vault over and around the sets of Parks and Recreation.)

Yet it's nice to have Jeff Goldblum and B.D. Wong back, however briefly, in their roles as concerned brainiac and fraught research scientist, and Fallen Kingdom generates the reboot's most memorable interspecies interactions to date: the breath of a T-Rex puffing up moneyman Toby Jones's Trump-blond hairpiece, macho hunter Ted Levine stepping over the line while seeking to extract a dino incisor for a trophy necklace, a pterodactyl picking up one of Spall's henchmen by his collar, and depositing him atop an SUV. (Here's a small measure of subtext for you: nature, properly red in tooth and claw, has the drop on capitalism every time.)

It's not the fault of the film but of an enduringly dysfunctional studio system that a multi-million-dollar summer tentpole release should in the end resemble the kind of straight-to-video sequel one might have troubled to check out of a Blockbuster around the turn of the millennium, and likely enjoyed with the right, reduced expectations. (Our event movies have long been no more than B-movies with an A+ budget; Bayona is just more honest about this than most.) Liberated from those expectations of what a post-Nolan, post-Marvel summer blockbuster is meant to be (long, self-involved, more of the previous thing), Fallen Kingdom nevertheless proves far livelier than its predecessor, niftily (if casually) assembled by a director enthusiastically admitting to and embracing what these reboots always were: brisk footnotes, at best.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is now playing in cinemas nationwide.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

On DVD: "The Wound"

Conventional movie wisdom has always said to give viewers - and male viewers in particular - something in the first five minutes that will turn them on: it'll catch the eye, quicken the pulse, and generally set the blood to running. The Wound, a bracing debut from writer-director John Trengove, will have men crossing their legs awkwardly for entirely different reasons. We open on a circumcision ritual as old as time and apparently still practised in certain rural areas of South Africa: a surgeon, demonstrating all the delicacy of the average army drill instructor, instructs a hastily convened group of young men to spread their thighs before whipping off their foreskins in one brisk and unlovely movement, stirring up the adrenaline in an attempt to usher his patients past any related physical pain ("You're a man now! You're a man!"). So begins a film of notable rummaging in the crotch area, that probes the softest, most vulnerable part of the male anatomy, and wonders how that thing down there might relate to the rest of us: our identity, our sense of pride.

Our hero is Xolani (Nakhane Touré), a factory worker in the city, returning to the countryside to serve as a caregiver in this ritual, applying balm and bandages to the areas affected in an attempt to right what went wrong during his own circumcision several years earlier, when his recovery period intersected with the arrival on campsite of a rabid dog. (Don't uncross those legs just yet.) When we first see him, Xolani is wearing the beanie and swaggering, no-fucks-given demeanour of a street tough, but subsequent observation reveals another side of his personality: he's (secretly) gay. In this, he's not alone - throughout the circumcision camp, we find him sneaking off for man-on-man sessions with fellow outsider Vija (Bongile Mantsai) - but he is, evidently, not the men the macho men around him would perhaps prefer and expect him to be. We glean as much from the way the father of one initiate, Kwanda (Niza Jay Ncoyini), worries that his son - a catalyst in what unfolds, opening up a rift between Xolani and Vija, and the possibility of change - has been wussified by his mother.

We've seen gay-themed coming-of-age dramas before, but rarely can they have looked and felt this primal. A long way - both geographically and figuratively - from the sunny suburbia of April's Love, Simon, The Wound is a film of men sitting round a campfire, faces painted, picking fights with symbolic sticks. The setting is a little like those New Age retreats the movies sporadically mocked through the Nineties and Noughties, but there is, clearly, more at stake here than bruised egos: Trengove leads us into a clearing where masculinity can be performed, antlers locked, and a degree of mastery - over one's true self, and others - can be demonstrated. If the circumcision ritual is specific to the Xhosa people - as specific, say, as the glottal clicking these characters break into whenever their conversations turn fraught - it will likely also translate for any audience that know that growing up isn't merely a matter of a simple snip here and there. These plains connect in some ways with those of Brokeback Mountain and the farmland of recent Brit hit God's Own Country: a site upon which nature is revealed, and a place of such isolation that only a fool would deny or suppress their attractions. What's the point of a two-man tent, if you've nobody to share it with?

Trengove's direction proves deceptively quiet and slight: here is the very opposite of those loud, willy-waggling Major Movie Statements on Masculinity our male-skewed entertainment industry has enabled through the years. For the first half-hour or so, this filmmaker seems perhaps a little too beholden to that Dardennesian device of fixing the camera to the neck and shoulders of a character as they journey, in all senses of the word, from here to there; and the sensitivity is such that a few notes of editorialising dropped into the penultimate scene clang like dropped cowbells. (After eighty minutes of study this attentive, we don't need one character to suddenly ask "What's the purpose of a dick, anyway?") For the most part, though, The Wound retains an impressive confidence in the ability of its landscape and the complexity of its conflicted characters to draw us in and keep us engaged. Paul Özgür's eloquent, crepuscular cinematography, forever locating these young men in some wider transitional moment, recalls another, more celebrated recent drama of black masculinity, against which Trengove's film amply holds its own: Moonlight.

The Wound is available on DVD through Peccadillo from Monday.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Blank mirror: "Hereditary"

Hereditary arrives on our screens trailing two things of significance: loud critical hosannas proclaiming it "the scariest film in years" - a perilously subjective index at a time when everything from the prospect of global nuclear annihilation to the sight of James Corden's face prompts mass panic - and a D+ CinemaScore grade that suggests paying audiences, even those audiences who flocked to April's A Quiet Place (a CinemaScore B+), have been a good deal less enthused. It may be the critic's job, at this late stage in the marketing campaign, to try and understand both points of view, the better to grasp the truth that surely resides somewhere between the two extremes.

Ari Aster's feature debut opens on a household that appears off-centre even before the passing of a grandmother sets everybody to making funeral arrangements. The deceased's daughter Annie (Toni Collette) is an artist who fashions scale models of scenes from her own life; she has a daughter (Milly Shapiro) who looks little shy of 106 years old, possibly as a result of the nut allergy that has swelled and distorted her features, and a stay-at-home son (Alex Wolff) who's apparently still in school despite seeming scarcely much younger than that. Their home, meanwhile, is awash with creepy signs and signifiers: part of a pentagram on a bedroom floor, a necklace that elicits gargoyle grins from pallid strangers at granny's funeral, an infernal Velux window in the treehouse standing at the foot of the family's garden. This is not a horror film with a sure feel for what is normal, humdrum, everyday, and its shaky baseline of reality immediately gives the lie to all those Exorcist comparison its PRs have been delightedly hoovering up. Every rib-nudging detail of Hereditary's first act has been designed to whisper uh-oh in the audience's ears; it would be a good deal more surprising if bad things didn't subsequently befall Aster's characters.

What my more excitable colleagues look to have been responding to is the emergence of a filmmaker making a painfully self-conscious effort to transfigure horror into something comparable to the art the Collette character deals in. A brooding sound wash and dim lighting are the first signs we're meant to take Hereditary ever so seriously, and Aster has equally availed himself of a cast capable of elevating those stretches of his material that fall between pulpy and silly. To witness Collette's monologue at the bereavement support group Annie reluctantly attends is to be aware one is in the presence of a real actor, rather than one of those makeshift dayplayers who have typically populated our B-features: rarely can a performer have strummed so much variation from two tightly pursed lips. Gabriel Byrne, in the generally underwritten part of Annie's husband Steve, does enough in his own right to sketch a man semi-stunned by the heinous misfortune assailing his family, and resolving to keep his own head down, lest something dreadful happen to him. 

That performance gestures towards some wider cosmological worldview, but over its two-plus hours, Hereditary doesn't really develop one of its own, or indeed much in the way of narrative logic. Instead, the film plays as a series of unfortunate events, separated by ellipses and evasions that struck this viewer as plain dishonest. Aster cuts directly from a car accident caused by one family member to the funeral it results in, completely eliding the awkward interfamilial conversations that would surely have broken out between the two points; some of the tensions this death provokes will emerge later in a sequence of dinner-table bawling (strangely reminiscent of American Beauty), but it's real acting in entirely the wrong place. A Quiet Place, the work of a father in his late thirties, got the effects it did partly from its informed study of the ways group dynamics change in the wake of disaster; Aster's film, conversely, is too busy shooting for doomy mood, creepy-crawly sensation, and a self-reflexivity that marks it as entirely the work of a recent film-school graduate: rooms that feel like maquettes (and vice versa), seances as setpieces, literal and cinematic graverobbing. For all its strain and pretence, it winds up holding precisely zero insight into the human condition, which would surely be a prerequisite of the art Aster is pushing so hard towards, and even on a mechanical level, Hereditary seemed pretty flimsy to me.

Aster just can't elevate the ouija boards and demonic possession business made cheap and commonplace by teen-skewed horror fare, and that weakness is compounded by what I refer to as the Paranormal Activity flaw: dunderheaded characters who refuse to move out or into a hotel once it's become flagrantly clear their home is the site of malevolent supernatural events. This is a film that requires viewers to forget about the existence of the police or mobile phones in order for its action to seem in any way credible, let alone scary; without that credulity, we're just plodding along towards a last-reel descent not into hell, but bad student-installation nonsense. An ironic closing-credits song blows what remains of Aster's cover: here is yet another posturing post-Tarantino charlatan, busy whipping up hype to hide the fact they have nothing very much to say. All movies, to some degree, are con jobs, and horror movies - leading us down blind alleys to spook us and pick our pockets - possibly more than most, but the best can sometimes trick us into seeing reflections of our true selves. I can understand how amid the excitement of the festival circuit, viewers made jittery by a combination of too much alcohol and too little sleep might proclaim Hereditary as an earthshaking experience. If I were in the business of copywriting, however, I might also label this terribly self-serious hokum "the slowest horror movie in years" and "effortfully gloomy", although I'm aware neither would sell quite as many tickets.

Hereditary opens in cinemas nationwide tomorrow.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Hindus and hen dos: "Veere Di Wedding"

Last month's Raazi was an implicitly feminist Hindi hit: a taut spy thriller that deployed the pre-eminent female star of the moment to reflect upon the precarious position of women in wartime. The film that has replaced it in the UK Top Ten, Shashanka Ghosh's Veere Di Wedding, proceeds along the wobblier lines of a Bridesmaids, exhibiting with every turned or broken heel the pop brashness of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". To paraphrase the Mint Juleps: it takes every kind of people to turn an industry around. Certainly Ghosh's film centralises and celebrates women we haven't seen much of in mainstream Hindi cinema: gals who smoke, drink, throw up and curse (even if the English subtitles rather cutely redact the worst pottymouthing with asterisks); who unabashedly tour Phuket's red-light district, take possession of their own bodies and properties, and are perfectly capable of getting by - and getting themselves off - without the need for dumb boys. At a time when India has taken a swing to the moralistic right under the generally forbidding eye of a father-figure leader, perhaps it's not so surprising the results should have provoked outrage from some quarters. Yet those humourless trolls who've gone after both the film and its actresses for daring to have a good time strike me as guilty of exactly that huffy overreaction one doltish husband within the movie displays in opening divorce proceedings after catching his wife in shuddering flagrante with a sex toy; easier and more pleasurable for everyone, surely, if they'd just join in the fun.

A film this liberal in content and outlook feels very much like the product of a newly confident and mobile Indian middle-class, blessed with the money that permits freedom of choice in everything from taxi apps (one of which is prominently showcased here) to potential suitors; whether Western audiences who've seen Jada Pinkett Smith give half of New Orleans a golden shower will be left quite as shocked or aghast seems at most unlikely. Ghosh's characters start out as cartoonish exaggerations of personalities viewers will likely recognise, if not from real life, then from an HBO show that happens to celebrate its 20th anniversary this month. There is the nervous bride-to-be, Kalindi (Kareena Kapoor Khan), attempting to navigate a ceremony that her folks and in-laws would turn into a grand theatrical event; and then there are the trio of old school friends who reunite from far-flung corners of the country, bringing their own relationship hang-ups to the banqueting table. Avni (Sonam Kapoor) is the careerist one, a family-court lawyer whose defensiveness in love and lust seems tied to the number of marriages she's seen fail close-up; Meera (Shikha Talsania), living in semi-blissful domesticity with her American hubby and young child, uses the wedding to go comprehensively off the leash; while hard-bitten, hard-drinking divorcee Sakshi (Swara Bhaskar) sports a tattoo above her broken heart that may as well be a scarlet letter for the way everybody looks at her.

If it hasn't already done so, Buzzfeed India will doubtless run a "Which VDW guest are you?" quiz in the coming weeks or months; for the moment, it's possible just to be diverted and cheered by the sight of four actresses who work well together making more of these parts than the composite sketches they might at first present as. Ghosh, aided considerably by his costumiers and choreographers, makes them all look good, which isn't always a given in these girls-gone-wild comedies, and qualifies as a feminist gesture in its own right. Now that Khan has finally reined in the relentless hairtossing that may just have been a prerequisite of being a twentysomething Bollywood heroine, her face is revealed as highly expressive, non-Botoxed and absolutely a boon for comedy; Kapoor's Disney-princess beauty has long been a matter of public record, but I'd somehow never spotted just how toweringly tall she is. The generosity extends to the opposite sex, too, which makes a change from all those Masti/Pyaar Ka Punchnama noncoms where you felt neither the horny heroes nor the filmmakers really gave much of a hoot about the bikini-clad girls they went fumbling towards. Though our heroines encounter one obvious gadabout (followed round by the chikka-chikka bit from Yello's "Oh Yeah", for some reason), boys here are really no worse an option than taking an Uber from time to time: good for the occasional ride. 

Beneath that raucous toplayer, one spies flashes of a more traditional entertainment, as if VDW were really just a Traveling Pants movie with a few filthy jokes tucked inside. Around the halfway point, this bridal shower crosses the threshold of an abandoned property the production may well have bought off Nicholas Sparks, and which inevitably receives a makeover of its own. Yet Ghosh's heroines each want different things (security, a night off, the albatross of divorce lifted from their shoulders) which keeps matters fresh, and writers Nidhi Mehra and Mehul Suri prove as quietly perceptive as 2015's crowdpleaser Dil Dhadakne Do was in analysing those generational issues now being raised across India. Somewhere in the background of the partying is the resonant, possibly even universal idea that what parents want for their children isn't always what those children want for themselves. What's most radical about Veere Di Wedding - and especially radical within the context of a Bollywood romcom - is the sincere doubt the film allows in as to whether a multiple-venue, million-rupee wedding is truly the best framework within which to consolidate one's love; in this, it deviates from Sex and the City's giftwrapped shop-window feminism, suggesting that tents and dresses and ice sculptures matter far less than the people involved in these occasions, and the feelings they have for one another. 

Throughout VDW's never wholly predictable second half, you spot Ghosh wondering whether it's possible for a film with the word wedding embedded in its title to conclude with anything other than the standard pledging of troth. Some unusually deft plotting provides us with a compromise option, intended to satisfy pearl-clutching diehards and party-hearty modernisers alike: bringing the most valuable gift of all to the ball, it's Kalindi's friends who resolve the familial logjam that underpins, sometimes impedes the romantic plot, enabling the first half's nuptials, which always had the look of a hollow stunt, to be rescaled and replayed as a more personal, intimate and touching affair. Thus does the film disassemble the wedding cake to put it back together and have it eaten - but surely only the most joylessly puritanical viewers would deny themselves a piece, given the liveliness of the company. The most forceful song in Ghosh's film, played out over a makeover montage that - in a not untypical manoeuvre here - razzes the necessity of makeover montages, has the refrain "Lose your inhibitions, let go of traditions". Veere Di Wedding throws some of the latter up in the air to enjoyable effect, but it's equally savvy enough to court that audience that still thinks it would be nice to catch a bouquet, or possibly even kiss the bride.

Veere Di Wedding is showing in cinemas nationwide.

Friday, 8 June 2018

For what it's worth...

Top Ten Films at the UK Box Office 
for the weekend of June 1-3, 2018:

1 (1) Solo: a Star Wars Story (12A) ***

2 (2) Deadpool 2 (15) **
3 (3Avengers: Infinity War (12A) ***
4 (4) Sherlock Gnomes (U) **
5 (new) Book Club (12A)
6 (5) Show Dogs (PG) *
7 (6I Feel Pretty (12A)
8 (7) Blade Runner: The Final Cut (15) ****
9 (new) Veere Di Wedding (15) ***
10 (8) On Chesil Beach (15)


My top five: 
1. 2001: a Space Odyssey

2. A Cambodian Spring
3. The Sound of Music
4. Raazi
5. All the Wild Horses

Top Ten DVD sales: 

1 (1) The Greatest Showman (PG)
2 (new) Early Man (PG)
3 (2) Coco (PG) ***
4 (new) Maze Runner: The Death Cure (12)
5 (6) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (12)
6 (new) 12 Strong (15)
7 (3) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (15) ***
8 (5) The Commuter (15)
9 (4) The Post (12) ***
10 (new) Downsizing (15) **


My top five: 
1. 120 Beats Per Minute

2. The Square
3. The Ice King
4. Loveless
5. Journey's End

Top five films on terrestrial TV this week:
1. Arbitrage (Wednesday, C4, 1.30am)
2. Volcano [above] (Sunday, C4, 2.30pm)
3. Made in Dagenham (Saturday, BBC2, 11.45pm)
4. Maleficent (Saturday, BBC1, 6.05pm)
5. Holes (Sunday, five, 2.05pm)