A Simple Favour isn’t quite the dramatic shift from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig that its promotional scrawl might have you believe. For one thing, this is hardly the first time Feig has squeezed laughs into genre cinema – see also Spy and Ghostbusters.. Further still, it’s the comedy that flies here, leaving the mystery thriller, based on the book by Darcy Bell, firmly grounded. No, this really isn’t so far from Feig familiar.
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They’re a precocious pair, Damien Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz. Both under forty and each an Oscar winner, the duo reunite after the ebullient La La Land to produce First Man, a more demure, yet still rip roaring, success. An adaptation of James R. Hansen’s Life of Neil Armstrong – by fellow Academy winner Josh Singer no less – the film has the visual mastery of Gravity but adds a welcome familial resonance.
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Modernism, in the UK at least, has garnered a muddied name, a casualty of the sixties concrete blocks that are so resented by traditionalists. South Korean documentarian and video essayist Kogonada may well change minds in his modestly beautiful feature debut, a romantic study of life in the so-called ‘mecca of modernism’. Influenced by the reflective strains of Japanese cinema, Columbus is softly composed and structured with impressively assured restraint.
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