It’s embarrassing how long it has taken the MCU to embrace meaningful equality. Twenty films. No female-led films. How come Chief Feige? Hot on the heels of last year’s revelation that leading heroes don’t have to be white, Captain Marvel now seeks to prove that they don’t have to be women either. Who knew? Whilst this isn’t the sickly romcom Scarlet Johansson once forecast in a bitingly brilliant spoof – ‘Marvel knows women!’ – neither is it the groundbreaking triumph that was Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman two years ago. When push comes to shove, Captain Marvel is actually very average.
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Adapting a trippy children’s book from the sixties is no picnic and Disney have already cocked up Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time before now in 2003. What’s impressive about Ava DuVernay’s bigger budget take on the tale is how the Selma director makes it her own and uses it as a vehicle to communicate to an underserved audience with emotional intelligence. Sadly, it is the less impressive script and oversaturated visuals that wrinkle in the mind.
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There’s a lot of hopping in Will Gluck’s Peter Rabbit and, yes, much of it takes place on the grave of Beatrix Potter, from whom the story originates. With its smart visuals, decent gags and – mostly – likeable cast, however, the film will appeal to younger audiences.
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How do you know you’re watching a horror film that just wants to have fun? The clues are that it’s cast Nicholas Cage as a possessed papa, has a runtime under ninety minutes and features a Shining tribute that ends with a housekeeper wiping out her daughter off screen with a meat cleaver.
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In Wonder Wheel, Kate Winslet plays an embittered woman who is trapped in an unhappy place and continuously complains of migraines. By the final stages of the film, her plight is one with which it is increasingly easy to empathise.
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So long as individuals continue to masque fascinating lives behind a facade of persona, providing society hasn’t done this for them, documentaries will continue mine the treasures of history. To the world, Hedy Lamarr might have been a cut-out Hollywood beauty but as Alexandra Dean’s Bombshell reveals, genius lay behind ‘that face’.
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By default of its plot, Sebastián Lelio’s Chilean Oscar winner, A Fantastic Woman, challenges the mind and engages the heart. It is a dream-like film that sees darkness soaked in light and realism bathed in magic and is utterly compelling.
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