As politics both sides of the Atlantic grows increasingly bitter, the film circus flared up this week to offer a distraction in the form of the Oscar nominations. Now everyone can argue about snubs instead. If you just want to watch some films though, we have the sequel to a cult classic, an awards contender, recent battles over the holocaust, and a flashy western to enjoy.
The gang’s back, over twenty years since we last saw them. T2: Trainspotting reunites many of the key figures bringing Ewan McGregor’s Mark Renton home to make amends after all that went down in those crazy low-down days. He’ll also have to avoid Robert Carlyle’s psychopathic Franco once more. Alongside the cast, Danny Boyle is behind the camera again with John Hodge on screenwriting duty for a sequel that could have gone horribly wrong but appears to have gone impressively right.
It looks like Mel Gibson is back in favour in Hollywood after Hacksaw Ridge picked up a raft of Oscar nominations. A series of controversial actions of late had seen him side-lined, but he returns to direct this well-received WWII drama. The focus is on Army Medic Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, who became the first man to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot after he refused to kill during the Battle of Okinawa, offering his medical services instead in perilous situations. It’s not likely to pick much up at the Oscars, but just to be there is sign enough Gibson has returned.
David Irving’s fall from grace is well-known now, the once respected historian exposed for the fact-bending Holocaust denier he really is. Denial takes us back to the court case that cemented his end; a court case he himself orchestrated when he tried to sue Deborah E. Lipstadt for referring to him as a holocaust denier in her book. Rachel Weisz plays Lipstadt while Timothy Spall steps into Irving’s shoes for an occasionally stagey but ultimately gripping courtroom drama. And in these dire times, it comes with a happy ending.
No one really needed a remake of The Magnificent Seven; especially given it was already a remake of Seven Samurai. Even though it’s almost entirely redundant, we have one anyway and it’s out now on DVD. The film, for all that it’s filler, has a good few bursts of entertainment. A decent cast including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke come together to protect a small settlement from outlaws. Lots of people get shot, and, while it’s not the greatest film in the world, or even the best bearing this title, it’ll blast away troubles.
That’s all we have time for now. See you next week as Ruth Negga demonstrates why she’s an Oscar nominee.