Is it even possible to defend Serenity – this year’s most harshly pilloried film to date – without blowing its gargantuan twist right out of the water? Probably not, but let’s have an eager crack at it anyway. The pundits detest Stephen Knight’s latest creation but it’s actually pretty exceptional. Yes, it’s a somewhat sour-tasting bouillabaisse of ill-assorted ingredients. Yes, it’s disgustingly saccharine. And yes, it’s weirder than a smitten Tom Cruise. One to miss, though? Absolutely not.
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For all the diversity in her career to date, it seems impossible to fathom that Keira Knightley will not be remembered in film history predominantly for her willowy period romances. Even the more daring Collette! Oh, but she does them so well. Even if The Aftermath is by no means a top tier entry in the Knightley catalogue – far from it – the star looks divine, emotes splendidly and willows like none other of her generation.
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Relating its quietly remarkable story, Of Love & Law must rank among the most uplifting sad documentaries ever made. On display is an insight into the day to day lives of a married couple in Japan who are also partners in law. Incidentally, they happen to be gay.
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Erstwhile Peep Show director Jeremy Wooding infuses ye olde British folk horror tradition with a touch of ye new in Burning Men. The film offers an experience quite probably like no other in cinemas this year – thanks largely to the poetic oddness of Wooding’s script – and boasts a ‘you saw her here first turn’ by star of tomorrow Elinor Crawley. If the ramshackle creativity of the production struggles rather with its limited financial reach, Wooding’s unique directorial approach proves increasingly compelling.
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It is rather. Boasting an irresistible premise, feel good charm and tremendous leading talent in Rebel Wilson – not romcom’s first plus-sized belle – Isn’t It Romantic is an easy watch. It’s not a beguiling film by any stretch of the imagination but, with this level of genial appeal, it should do very well with any audience prepared to settle in.
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There are no words to describe Paris Is Us. Actually, that’s a lie. Musician Simon Boswell’s album title applies perfectly to this new Netflix feature: ‘It’s horrible. I love it. What is it?’ Paris is Us isn’t a love-or-hate sort of affair; it’s both, with a whole load of confusion on top.
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