Adventures In Cinema: February 2014
Continuing Kinnemaniac’s new regular monthly column, offering short reviews of every new film seen at the cinema during any given month. This will be updated after every cinema visit for an ongoing summary of what’s worth seeing on the big-screen.
Gone With The Wind
Is there anything left to say about Hollywood’s biggest hit? Well, yes. Precisely because of its auteur-free, everybody-have-a-go construction, it is endlessly debatable. Brilliant, ghastly and fascinating – all the more so in a gorgeous 4K restoration. HIGHLIGHT: Amazingly, over-familiarity hasn’t blunted Rhett Butler’s parting shot to Scarlett O’Hara; out of context, it might sound cheesy but after four hours, it’s cruel.
Inside Llewyn Davis
A ragged three-chord folk song to the Coen brother’s usual twelve-note scale, this is Joel and Ethan’s most stripped-back, affecting film to date, with the customary irony and pastiche replaced with real warmth and maturity. Suffice to say, it’s the first time the Coen brothers have made me cry. HIGHLIGHT: Llewyn (the amazing Oscar Isaac) pours all of his melancholy and frustration into a performance for his dad.
The LEGO Movie
Instructions? Where we’re going, we don’t need instructions. Master builders Phil Lord and Chris Miller pile on the post-modern bric(k)olage to pit childlike glee against corporate synergy, and somehow both end up cooler. HIGHLIGHT: For an early-80s space cadet like me, it has to be Charlie Day’s Benny, perpetually enthused by the possibilities of interplanetary travel and unfazed by the fact that his helmet is snapped.
The future’s bright, the future’s strange. Why use an iPhone to make a booty call when the iPhone might be the booty? Jonze delivers a surprisingly plausible vision of the future, and a love story between human and computer that is as sweet as it is creepy. HIGHLIGHT: The discovery that video game characters can be bad-asses.
Payne draws on the heritage of classic American cinema (not least his own) to draw his affecting, old-fashioned paean to an old-fashioned state (of mind). It’s almost a greatest hits compilation, but such is Payne’s faith in his subject – middle American dreamers of lost causes – that Nebraska feels richer for its familiarity. HIGHLIGHT: Poty-mouthed June Squibb takes on the ghosts of her past in a blisteringly funny, profane graveyard rant.
Thanks to Derby QUAD and Showcase Cinemas.
Tagged 2014 films