Vacation Friends (16+) ***
Delayed by the pandemic, Our ladies finally hits the big screen as an even more period piece than it was when director Michael Caton-Jones premiered it at the 2019 London Film Festival. joked that this adaptation of Alan Warner’s cult 1998 novel The Sopranos started out as a contemporary coming-of-age comedy, but he couldn’t hear this raucous story about a girl group of Catholic choirs on a A Vodka Odyssey in Edinburgh funded until the film industry belatedly realized that women were underrepresented on screen. Looking at it in the present moment, however, the zeal with which these small-town girls embrace all that a big city has to offer has reached an unintended layer of nostalgia: their carefree attitude to having a good time seems almost quaint after 18 months of social distancing and Covid caution.
That zeal, however, remains the film’s strongest element, thanks in large part to Caton-Jones’ ease with young actors and the spirited cast of newcomers he has assembled to play the lead roles. Collectively and individually, Marli Siu, Eve Austin, Tallulah Greive, Abigail Lawrie, Sally Messham and Rona Morison imbue their characters’ cheeky behavior with a concrete vitality and believability that matches Warner’s style of prose. It’s also significant because it’s a much broader adaptation of her work than Lynne Ramsay’s shrewd adaptation of her debut novel, Morvern Callar. Closer to the tone of a raunchy teen comedy whose edges have been dulled by too much familiarity, some of the comedic settings fall a little flat, particularly the girls’ various encounters with lustful men and a well spent one. celebrity cameo by date. But some of them are also very funny, and ultimately there’s a sweetness to the way the film never loses sight of the girls’ joie de vivre.
Stay in Scotland The last bus stars Timothy Spall as Tom, an elderly widower on a bus-pass funded pilgrimage to Land’s End from his home in John O’ Groats. Essentially a slick knockoff of David Lynch’s The Straight Story, the film – which was directed by Gillies MacKinnon (who did the equally soporific remake of Whiskey Galore!) – lays everything down a bit of thickness, be it the mystery of what’s in the suitcase Tom clings to for dear life, the corny way he becomes a social media sensation, or else Spall’s own turn as a crippled pensioner haunted by his past and newly dependent on the kindness of strangers.
As an overleveraged commodity broker who embraced the make-money-at-all-costs philosophy of the 1980s, Jude Law delivers a quietly tragic performance in The nest, the latest from Martha Marcy May Marlene writer/director Sean Durkin. Law plays Rory O’Hara, a self-made man who convinces his American wife Allison (Carrie Coon) to uproot their lives in the United States and return to London so he can start his own business division. The early conversational tension indicates why Allison might have second thoughts about the move, but in the unenlightened mind of the times, she accompanies her husband, hoarding her own money by the time Rory moves her and her children into a country mansion that elevates status. , the costs of which he refuses to disclose. Working on a fairly small budget, Durkin unravels the intricacies of the boom-bust economic cycle of a country on the brink of deregulation via the ups and downs of Rory and Allison’s relationship, with Coon shining as the unimpressed outsider. the vicissitudes of the British class system and Law nailing the psychology of the fake-till-you-make-it “wheelbarrow boys” who stomped their way onto the stock exchange floors just as Thatcher came to power.
A tense couple (Lil Rel Howard and Anna Maria Horsford) find out their impending nuptials were arranged by live-action vacationers John Cena and Meredith Hagner at holiday friends, a funnier premise than this premise suggests a comedy that makes do with the goofy charm of its cast. Although titled by Cena, this is definitely Howard’s chance to step into a prominent role after excelling in best friend roles like Get Out and current hit Free Guy. He plays Marcus, the sensible fiancé of wealthy Nancy (Horsford). Unsure of what really happened on their accidentally debauched vacation together, his desire to get married without a hitch crumbles when Cena’s fun-loving Ron and his equally maniacal wife Kyla (Hagner) show up. and fit into the wedding party. Ron and Marcus accidentally tripping over magic mushrooms while the Beastie Boys perform on the soundtrack is a pretty good example of the silly, sympathetic tone the movie is going for.
After a few big-budget Hollywood failures and a few stalled high-profile projects, District 9 director Neill Blomkamp returns to his indie roots with Demonic, a sci-fi horror film that cannot escape the clichés implicit in its generic title. While a clever setup involving brain-hacking tech that allows another person’s subconscious to be infiltrated via a virtual reality simulation sounds promising, it quickly turns into a tech-heavy, exposition-packed demon possession flick. which leaves its most interesting ideas unexplored.
Our Ladies, The Last Bus and The Nest are currently in theaters; Vacation Friends is available to stream on Disney+; Demonic is in selected version and digital download.
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