Getting the most press this week is The Edge of Love, an account of the women who surrounded legendary boozer (and occasional poet) Dylan Thomas during the Second World War. London lovers will cherish it for the “wonderful rendering of Blitz London” (Independent, 3-stars) but overall it’s got very average reviews. The Guardian (2-stars) calls it an “exasperatingly unfocused and underpowered movie.” The performances of Keira Knightly, Sienna Miller and particularly Mathew Rhys (as Thomas) are mostly praised, although according to the Guardian there is “no chemistry between Knightly and Miller. They just look like highly competitive Notting Hill trustafariennes.”
Sadly, because it’s a London film trying to deal with London issues, Adulthood gets terrible reviews, 1-star in the Independent saying it “comes across as a fairly monotonous portrait of west London depravity in which brutal beatings, muggings, drug dealing and daylight robbery are a way of life”. The Times says that “such unrelenting aggro soon becomes meaningless.”
Also out is The Escapist with Brian Cox breaking out of a London nick. The Independent (3-stars) calls it a “very creditable attempt at a genre that seemed done to death.” While the Times (3-stars) says that it’s all “anchored by a marvellously clapped-out performance from Brian Cox”.
Then we have Teeth, which had a trailer so appalling it seemed like a spoof. Let’s leave it to the Guardian to describe, “Dawn has a secret: her vagina has two rows of fiendishly sharp teeth, which the various men who make attempts on Dawn's modesty discover to their considerable cost.” – amazingly it gets 4-stars. The other critics are less impressed, The Times (2-stars), “though the movie tries to make some grand points about male sexual anxiety and female power, it inevitably overdoses on shots of lopped penises and men clutching their bloody groins”. Which is why the Independent (2-stars) calls it the “the worst date movie imaginable.” Unlikely to get you in the mood.
The best reviewed film of the week is Couscous (La Graine et le Mulet) about a French-Arab family opening a restaurant. The reviews are exceptional everywhere with the Guardian (5-stars) calling it a “deeply involving tragicomedy, combining warmth with an unexpected level of complexity, and delivering a fiercely unsentimental commentary on the sexual politics of family and food.” The Times (4-stars) says that “not a moment wasted in this transcendent tale of a quiet man's great ambition”.
Next week, James McAvoy goes A-list in Wanted and the Chronicles of Narnia continue with Prince Caspian.
By James Bryan