There was a time when Matthew McConaughey used to act primarily by taking his shirt off. However, since 2011 he’s been on an incredible winning streak. Dallas Buyers Club, out this week, may be about to crown his return with an Academy Award. With strong support from Jared Leto’s transgender Rayon, McConaughey plays macho cowboy Ron Woodroof who discovers he has HIV. Shunned by former friends and with an extremely short prognosis, he sets up the Dallas Buyers Club to procure forbidden medicine for himself and anyone else that is able to join the club. With riveting central performances and a strong story, it’s worth all the praise that has come its way recently.
Last year we had a remake of Total Recall, now we get RoboCop. I can only assume that Showgirls is up next. Shorn of much of the satirical edge that made Verhoeven’s ultra-violent original such a cult classic, Brazilian director José Padilha’s remake is still an entertaining film stuffed full of spectacular explosions. Detroit cop Alex Murphy’s journey from undercover officer to quasi-superhero is full of exhilarating moments even if it does resemble a franchise video game a little too closely at times. One mystery remains though. Despite possessing cutting edge technology capable of creating robotic marvels, they still can’t do anything to stop them whirring and clattering like a nineteenth century factory.
If the last year is anything to go by, Felicity Jones certainly seems to have a type. In Breathe In, it was Guy Pearce’s older music teacher that took her fancy. Now, in The Invisible Woman, it’s Ralph Fiennes as the much older Charles Dickens who takes her on controversially as his mistress. Behind the camera as well for his sophomore directorial effort, Fiennes’ film promises a rich emotional tale firmly rooted in the finest period drama traditions.
If you like your movies pitch black, you’ll love Prisoners, out on DVD now. Hugh Jackman plays the father searching for his abducted child. Going to desperate lengths to try and save his kid, he crosses well over the line of acceptability, much to the frustration of Jake Gyllenhaal’s twitchy eyed detective. Acclaimed Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s English language debut is an engrossing crime drama, but you will almost certainly require a shower straight after to wash away the moral grime accumulated by the time the credits roll.
That’s all for now. I’ll see you next week for Valentine’s Day where the best present you can possibly get your loved one will be a trip to the cinema. Or failing that, maybe just a quiet night in with a film.