The cinematic circus of Cannes has come to an end, generating as much publicity for ‘flatgate’ and the ban on red carpet selfies, as for the films themselves. It will be a while before Londoners get to see most of the hotly-tipped titles, from the 1950’s set Carol to the controversial Amy Winehouse documentary Amy, but to keep us going in the meantime, June’s new release movies offer a mix of the cerebral, the comic and the borderline trashy, plus a lot of London talent to boot.
Queen And Country – London set
Director: John Boorman Certificate: 15 Release Date: 5 June 2015
Stars: Callum Turner, Caleb Landry Jones, David Thewlis, Richard E Grant
It’s 28 years since John Boorman released the much acclaimed Hope And Glory. Queen And Country, set a decade later at the time of the Korean war, is his very long awaited follow up – we like a man immune to work pressure. If you’ve ever wandered around the leafy, outer fringes of our capital and found yourself consumed with house-envy you might recognise part of the setting – much of it was filmed on Shepperton’s idyllic Pharoah’s Island. The nostalgic tone may not be to everyone’s taste but, should you enjoy lashes of spiffing, stiff-upper-lip, Dad’s Army-esq dramedy, it might just be your cup of tea.
Second Coming– London talent, London set
Director: debbie tucker green Certificate: 15 Release Date: 5 June 2015
Stars: Nadine Marshall, Idris Elba, Sharlene Whyte
Ridiculously-talented Londoner debbie tucker green (sic) is an Olivier Award winning playwright and BAFTA winning TV dramatist. Second Coming marks her cinematic debut (presumably she has designs on expanding her range of silverware), charting the inexplicable pregnancy of Jax, a woman trapped in a sexless and repressed marriage. Obtuse, often wilfully slow and heavily atmospheric, it’s the work of a confident director unafraid to challenge and test her audience.
Spy – London talent
Director: Paul Feig Certificate: 15 Release Date: 5 June 2015
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law, Rose Byrne
Lewisham lad Jude Law has been rather quiet of late, so it’s good to see him back in what looks certain to be box office hot property from the director of Bridesmaids. Melissa McCarthy stars as an unassuming CIA analyst who goes deep undercover to save the day after losing two of her colleagues. The somewhat eclectic cast has managed to pull off a cracking, girl-power comedy that gives McCarthy the star vehicle she’s so long deserved.
Survivor – London set
Director: James McTeigue Certificate: 15 Release Date: 5 June 2015
Stars: Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, James D’Arcy, Dylan McDermott, Angela Bassett
We’ve a rash of spy movies this year. Survivor sees Pierce Brosnan dust down his best old Bond moves to play a deadly assassin (we know he’s deadly because he scowls a lot) gunning for innocent foreign office worker Milla Jovovich who has been framed for a terrorist bombing. It might not be wildly original, but it features some great location scenes across the capital, including a chase scene on the tube. And we do love a chase scene on the tube.
London Road – London talent
Director: Rufus Norris Certificate: 15 Release Date: 12 June 2015
Stars: Olivia Coleman, Tom Hardy
Before you get too excited, this is set in Ipswich. But it was born in our fair capital, on the boards of the Cottesloe Theatre, where it was nominated for several Olivier awards. A dark tale based around a community affected by the serial killer Steve Wright in 2006, it sets actual interviews with local residents verbatim to music. Original theatre director Rufus Norris now oversees its transfer to the big screen, where Hammersmith boy Tom Hardy will make his musical debut (is there ANYTHING he can’t do?).
Age Of Kill – London talent, London set
Director: Neil Jones Certificate: 15 Release Date: 12 June 2015
Stars: Martin Kemp, Phil Davis, Nick Moran, Dexter Flexter, Patrick Bergin
Cor blimey guv, a dolly mixture more David Hockney than a Queen Vic sing song round the old Joanna. We initially rued the glaring omission of Danny Dyer till spotting his actual daughter, Dani Dyer (yes, that really is her name) on the cast list. Now, this tale of a sniper blackmailed into shooting random people isn’t likely to pick up any gongs come awards season, but if you like your action of the generic kind, involving much brick chewing and snarls of “’ee’s got my daaw-ter!!”, fill your bamboo shoots.
Director: Bill Condon Certificate: 12A Release Date: 19 June 2015
Stars: Ian McKellen, Laura Linney
Is there anyone brave and / or foolish enough to don Sherlock Holmes’ deerstalker after it has been wholly owned by The Cumberbatch? Apparently yes and it’s Ian McKellen. But cleverly, even Sir Ian isn’t fool enough for a straight, mano-a-mano fight for detective supremacy. Instead, Mr Holmes takes a different, melancholic path, fast-forwarding to an elderly Sherlock, now living alone by the sea, reminiscing about the one case that got away from him. The critics have heaped praise, so maybe Baker Street IS big enough for the both of them.
She’s Funny That Way – London talent
Director: Gerard Barrett Certificate: 15 Release Date: 26 June 2015
Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Imogen Poots, Lucy Punch, Owen Wilson
Good to see London girls Imogen Poots and Lucy Punch spreading their wings in Hollywood. Having both been bubbling under the radar for some time, She’s Funny That Way sees them breaking into the mainstream. Imogen plays a hooker turned actress hired by lecherous, Broadway play director Owen Wilson to inevitably calamitous results. Echoing the golden age, screwball comedies of the 1940’s, it boasts a splendid extended cast including Joanna Lumley, Cybill Shepherd, Rhys Ifans and Tatum O’Neal.
Director: Doug Ellin Certificate: tbc Release Date: 19 June 2015
Stars: Jeremy Piven, Adrian Grenier, Kevin Dillon, Kevin Connolly, Jerry Ferrara
Finally, Vincent Price gets to be a proper big screen movie star as Entourage makes the break from the small screen with his boys, like bloodsucking human limpets, clinging on for the ride. Expect more of the usual shenanigans — girls, booze, parties, cruising through Hollywood in rubbish variants of European sports cars produced for the US market — and angry, shouty, abusive super-agent turned studio head, Ari Gold (played by Mr Selfridge's Jeremy Piven). Take cover…
Director: John Maclean Certificate: 15 Release Date: 26 June 2015
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Ben Mendelsohn, Kodi Smitt-McPhee, Caren Pistorius
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Slow West is a slow burn tale of a young man in search of his long lost sweetheart — who just so happens to be an outlaw. With stunning cinematography so vivid you can practically feel the heat of the great plains burning through the camera and a terrific cast topped off by the mighty Michael Fassbender, it reinvents the classic Western to great effect.
By Ruth Sloss