CINEMAS RE-OPENING on July 20 - ahead of the original re-opening date of August 10 - is good news, but in the meantime, Netflix remains our 'home cinema'. Here are my recommendations for this week's watching.
Leave No Trace: I still cannot believe how few people saw this movie when it came out two years ago. Tom is an ex-military man suffering from PTSD. He decides to move off grid, bringing his young daughter with him, where they live and survive in the woods. This is director Debra Granik’s feature follow-up to the incredible Winters Bone (2010 ). In that film she discovered Jennifer Lawerence, and in Leave No Trace she has uncovered another incredible young actress in Tomasin Mckenzie. An interesting film about isolation, parenthood, and turning your back on government.
Lost In Translation: Before going to Japan last year I gave this a rewatch. It is about a young girl who builds a friendship with an older actor while they are both holed up alone in a Tokyo hotel. Some of the humour now seems a little dated - the Japanese characters are basically there to be the butts of jokes, and they speak English funny (that is really all the movie has to say about the locals ). However, the good stuff is still really good: a fantastic soundtrack mainly from Irishman Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine; really great chemistry between the two leads; and some really beautiful footage of Japan. Far from flawless, but there is a lot here worth your time.
Sense And Sensibility: I had a bit of a bias against this movie. When it came out to rent on video in 1996 I wanted to rent Goldeneye but my dad and sister chose this. I didn’t watch it because it looked boring (and in fairness a 12 year old me would have found it boring ). I kept that opinion (without having ever watched it ) until a few years ago when Alan Rickman died. Emma Thompson (who won an Oscar for the screenplay, and still the only person to have won an Oscar for screenplay and acting ) wrote a beautiful short obit for Rickman, I decided to watch some of their many movies together and this was by far the best. Clever, sharp, and genuinely funny script.
Brexit: The Uncivil War: This made for TV movie sees Benedict Cumberbtach play Dominic Cummings. Written for the screen by James Graham - who just did a rather excellent mini series on ITV about the coughing Major from Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? I’m excited for the sequel depicting the last year or so. My suggestion for the title is Herd impunity.