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of-horses-and-men-posterIf you can’t stomach the mass hysteria the World Cup generates, sitting safely in a darkened room is about the only way to avoid it. Blockbusters are on hold while everyone else is glued to England’s failure but that only opens the door for the interesting films that usually get squeezed out by mindless Hollywood releases.

First up it turns out there is more to horses than simply riding them mighty fast. There’s also something compelling about the bond between horse and human. This is certainly the angle the beguilingly odd Of Horses and Men latches onto. Benedikt Erlingsson’s impressive Icelandic film is sort of a relationship drama but not the kind you’re used to seeing. So take a gamble this week and give it a try. Even if it proves not to be your cup of tea, it’s certainly not boring.

Sticking firmly to British film industry staples, Belle arrives this week elaborately dressed in period drama finery. Continuing the recent cinematic trend, it tells the story of Dido Belle, the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of a naval officer brought up in English high society by the Earl of Mansfield. Based mainly on a painting of Dido, a woman about whom there is little in the way of established facts, Amma Asante’s film gives itself licence to play hard and fast with the concept of historical accuracy but at least that should make for moments of high drama. If you like your period dramas mixed with worthy moral causes give it a go.

Jean-Pierre Jeunet takes his time between films but they are usually worth it. The man who brought Amelie to the word returns with T.S. Spivet, an adventure film that sees the young (and prodigious) boy of the title set off on a cross country trek to Washington D.C. Expect plenty of magical journeying and buckets full of whimsy ably supported by the likes of Helena Bonham Carter. What can go wrong?

The plundering of Paul Verhoeven’s career continues apace as Robocop turns up on DVD. Thankfully, it’s significantly better than the dire Total Recall remake from 2012. Brazilian director José Padilha takes the reins marshalling Joel Kinnaman’s enhanced police officer through a series of thrilling action sequences. The biting satire of the original dies a death after the first half hour and the supporting cast are a mixed bag (Gary Oldman is very good, Michael Keaton less so) but it’s an entertaining way to pass an evening.

Next week, drown your footballing sorrows with The Fault in Our Stars. Or even Kevin Costner trying to prove he’s still got it. See you then.

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