Hello and welcome to October! Before all that we need to settle the matters of September. A measly three cinema trips were all I could manage this month but I did manage to rent two of 2015’s finest through blinkbox and Sainsbury’s. Those five experiences will make up this month’s stellar line-up. Let’s hope October can top it. As I’ve planned three cinema stops in three days this coming weekend, next month’s Top 5 should represent a more current evaluation.
Alas! Get stuck in y’all…
Starting with the potential to be a bonafide British classic, Legend packs too much of the Kray’s mythology into what should have been a streamlined picture. Legend is in most part a slow affair, framed by bursts of intensely powerful violence, that meanders along into overlong status. The film is much funnier than I’d imagined, largely due to Hardy’s portrayal of Ron Kray, but the lead’s double turn can only charm so far. Also the under-use of Christopher Eccleston is, all puns aside, criminal.
Recently Jon Krakauer said that Everest is ‘total bull’. He obviously wasn’t discussing the quality of the film. Everest may not be the most factually accurate retelling of the dramatic events that occurred in ’96, but it does an admirable job of telling the dangers of Earth’s highest mountain.
Everest is as changeable as the mountain itself. It will overpower you with an avalanche of tension and emotion and then disappoint you with a hazy outlook. Whereas the mountain itself may be the zenith for mountaineers, for cinephiles Everest rarely threatens to be anything more than a Mount Snowdon.
3. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
A Girl is a black and white beauty. Almost silent, it is centrally narrated by its lively and unique score. A Girl is so stunning in its direction and cinematography that the economical use of language feels wholly on point, as if more conversation would spoil the carefully choreographed ballet unfolding before us. The James Dean-esque protagonist (Arash Marandi) brings the old Hollywood style into focus as Ana Lily Amirpour strips back the mysticism of the genre, rooting it in a parallel reality. A truly special film, ambitious in its creation, if lacking a little something.
Top Five is a brilliantly smart film that deconstructs the destructive nature of fame. Its humour is born out of the graphic honesty of Chris Rock’s semi-autobiographical picture. Honesty is burnt into every character of the perfectly-constructed cast. Rock faces the life he has been forced into, as he loses grasp of the life he so desires, as Dawson and the audience follow and enquire from street level. This is the sort of satire that makes one sad for the likes of Adam Sandler; actors that want to branch out but the public only want what they’ve already seen. Laughs are present in abundance, with slicing insight bubbling clearly on the surface.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is the pinnacle of young adult film-making. The high-school setting and conflicted protagonist have all the traits of The Duff or The Fault in Our Stars but Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is without the underlying preppy feeling that holds such films back. Someone recently said that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl looked like the film The Fault in Out Stars could have been, but in all honesty, The Fault in Our Stars never had a hope of being this good.
The film is stylish and offbeat which creates a charm large enough to make you laugh and cry in equal measure. The characters are so full and vibrant, whilst the film is consciously ignorant to the expectations of the young adult market. Jesse Andrews’ screenplay actively subverts the clichéd and exhausted. The ending is soppy but fails to detract even a hint from the film’s excellence. You crave the resolution in hand whilst simultaneously straining against it.
Don’t take this rating lightly as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is pretty damn perfect.
Images courtesy of heyyouguys, Guardian, cinema.pfpca, radiotvtalk and thedissolve.