We can roll away the red carpets, forget about all the showbiz razzamatazz and get on with watching decent films again now. And to mark the passing of awards season, there’s new work from the Coen brothers, Gerard Butler blowing things up, Hitchcock’s influence and cross-Atlantic voyages to enjoy.
The star of the studio’s new Roman epic has gone, kidnapped by Communists, gossip column twins are on the case and the boss insists on casting a rodeo star in a mannered drama. And that’s a normal day for Josh Brolin’s Hollywood fixer. It’s no wonder he’s contemplating moving jobs. Hail, Caesar! pays tribute to, and pokes fun at golden era Hollywood, packing the cast with the likes of George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes and Channing Tatum for a funny, if somewhat loose-stranded comedy. This might be one of their weaker efforts, but after 17 films, the Coen brothers are yet to make a bad one.
Thank God Gerard Butler is around again. In Olympus Has Fallen it was only the White House under attack; now in London Has Fallen trouble rages across the UK capital as terrorists try to wipe out a number of world leaders. Luckily for the US president, perhaps less so for other heads of state, Butler’s Secret Service agent is on hand to save the day. It will be immensely stupid and has already received poor reviews. But so did the first one and that was a lot of fun.
In 1962, critic turned New Wave pioneer François Truffaut sat down with Alfred Hitchcock for a week-long series of interviews to discuss his work. Documentarian Kent Jones revisits this encounter in Hitchcock/Truffaut, and draws on a number of eminent names from the world of film who discuss how Hitchcock influenced them. While it sometimes becomes too much of a straight tribute to Hitchcock, contributors including Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, Richard Linklater and David Fincher ensure there’s plenty of interest for those with even a passing interest in film.
What a lovely film Brooklyn is. After picked up a handful of Oscar nominations, including in the Best Picture category, John Crowley’s film, adapted by Nick Hornby from Colm Tóibín’s novel, arrives on DVD. The real selling point is Saoirse Ronan as the young Irish immigrant crossing the Atlantic for a new life in the 1950s. She’s simply brilliant, capturing the hope and loneliness that comes with emigration. There’s romance, well-captured period detail and an explosive cameo from Julie Walters, but this is really a film about what it’s like to pack up and start again. It’s well worth repeat viewings.
I’ll bid you farewell at that. See you next week when Charlie Kaufman in animated form makes a long overdue return.