Happy End leads the new cinema releases and trailers December 1st 2017

Happy EndThis week, there are SEVEN new films out for you to choose from: Amour‘s Michael Haneke returns with Happy End, is Wonder wonderful?, there are dark tales on the Most Beautiful Island, and dark drama in Gholam, Dan Stevens plays Charles Dickens in The Man Who Invented Christmas, there’s lazy comedy in Just Getting Started, and there’s a disaster of a movie in The Disaster Artist.

Happy End

Gradually succumbing to dementia, George Laurent (Jean-Louis TrintignantAmour), the octogenarian patriarch of the Laurents, an affluent upper-bourgeois family, is uncomfortably sharing his palatial manor in Calais, the heart of the infamous migrant jungle, with his twice-married son, Thomas (Mathieu Kassovitz), and Anne (Isabelle Huppert), his workaholic daughter who has taken over the family construction business.

Divorced and frigid, Anne has to handle the impact of a disastrous workplace accident caused by her disappointing son Pierre’s negligence, while at the same time, the urgent hospitalisation of Thomas’ ex-wife from a mysterious poisoning, leads his sulky 13-year-old daughter, Ève, to live with her father and his new wife, Anais. Undoubtedly, in this family, everyone has a skeleton in the closet, and as the fates of the Laurents enmesh with insistent and ignoble desires, a peculiar and disturbing alliance will form. But in the end, some secrets are bigger than others.

This film comes from Amour‘s writer/director Michael Haneke and also star Toby Jones. I loved Amour and can’t wait to see this one, especially since it features M. Trintignant and Ms. Huppert.

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Wonder-ful? To say Wonder looks heartwarming sounds like the kind of movie you’d run a million miles away from – and I normally would to, but there was something about the way this one panned out which really drew me in.

It’s based on the New York Times bestseller (hopefully better than their use of police intelligence leaks!), and tells the tale of August Pullman (Jacob Tremblay Room), a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade. Up until that point, they prevented him from going to a mainstream school, but from then, he becomes the most unlikely of heroes. As his family, his new classmates, and the larger community all struggle to discover their compassion and acceptance, Auggie’s extraordinary journey will unite them all and prove you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Wonder was brought forward a week in the UK to December 1st. My only reservation is that if you’re searching for “Wonder”, then the only thing that’ll come up top in the searches, this year, will be Wonder Woman. Hence, a different title might’ve helped.

Also stars: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Mandy Patinkin, Sonia Braga

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Most Beautiful Island only has a limited release, but tells a chilling portrait of an undocumented young woman’s struggle for survival as she finds redemption from a tortured past in a dangerous game.

In fact, given this trailer, it looks like it was bordering on Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac!

Writer/Director: Ana Asensio
Stars: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Gholam

Haunted by his past and with a future sliding towards inertia, Gholam (Shahab Hosseini) finds himself involved in the conflict of a total stranger but is it his shadowy past or his present woes that ultimately catch up with him?

A mixture of a film made in the UK and Iran, there’s something about this uneven trailer which really drew me in, and I do want to check it out.

Director: Mitra Tabrizian
Writers: Mitra Tabrizian, Cyrus Massoudi
Also stars: Tracie Bennett, Nasser Memarzia

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


The Man Who Invented Christmas centres around how Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) created Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer), Tiny Tim and a number of other classic characters from the timeless tale, A Christmas Carol, as he mixed real life inspirations with his vivid imagination, in what looks like a very amusing family film based on the trailer.

Director: Bharat Nalluri
Screenplay: Susan Coyne (based on the novel by Les Standiford)
Also stars: Jonathan Pryce, Simon Callow, Donald Sumpter, Miriam Margolyes, Ian McNeice, Bill Paterson, Annette Badland and Justin Edwards

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Hit!


Just Getting Started is just a lazy ‘comedy’ about oneupmanship between two old men – Duke (Morgan Freeman) and Leo (Tommy Lee Jones).

The billing lists it as a two-hander action comedy in the vein of Midnight Run netween ex-FBI agent Leo and ex-mob lawyer Duke, who’s in the witness protection program. They have to put aside their petty rivalry on the golf course to fend off a mob hit. Golf. How exciting…

Writer/Director: Ron Shelton
Also stars: Rene Russo, Joe Pantoliano, Glenne Headly, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Elizabeth Ashley

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


The Disaster Artist takes a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Tommy Wiseau‘s 2003 movie, The Room, with the man portrayed by James Franco.

To me? It looked terribly tedious, but then films from James Franco and Seth Rogen can either be a big hit or a big miss. The Disaster Artist looked like the latter from that from the teaser.

Now watching the full trailer, I’m still of the same opinion, I’m sure brothers James and Dave loved working with one another, but I can’t see what we’re meant to get from their pairing.

Director: James Franco
Also stars: Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Zoey Deutch, Lizzy Caplan, Zac Efron, Bryan Cranston, Dave Franco, Dylan Minnette

Hit or Miss? Verdict: Miss!


Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.
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