ones to watch
new movies & tv
New movies in-store this week, all of the film and tv releases that get the fopp stamp of approval in one handy place.
Check out all of our favourites below.
A Fantastic Woman
Chilean director Sebastián Lelio’s previous film, Gloria, featured a strong female protagonist determined to live her life resolutely on her own terms. His latest Oscar-winning film, meanwhile, follows another resilient lead character – Marina (newcomer Daniela Vega), a transgender singer who as the film opens is in a relationship with an older man, Orlando.
Alas, tragedy strikes and soon Marina finds herself marginalised and abused from all corners. Her partner dies and Marina is exposed to the full spectrum of hostility, ranging from the emergency services to Orlando’s family – whose contempt turns, eventually, towards violence.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The plot of this new film from Irish playwright Martin McDonagh concerns Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand), a grieving mother whose teenage daughter was raped and murdered. Mildred has reached the limits of her frustration with the local police, whose efforts to find her daughter’s killer have proved unsuccessful. She rents a trio of unused advertising hoardings to shame Ebbing police Chief Sheriff Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) into action and “fuck those cops up”.
But while many townsfolk sympathise with Mildred’s plight, Willoughby is widely liked; besides, he is dying from pancreatic cancer, too, an open secret about town. As Mildred’s quest for justice veers towards desire for revenge, McDonagh’s film assumes a dark momentum.
There are tricksy narrative contrivances that lurch the film in unexpected directions. McDonagh’s cast is superb, though – Harrelson provides the film’s moral core while McDormand’s controlled fury brings focus to the various plot contraptions. Sam Rockwell, Peter Dinklage and John Hawkes suffer their own torments.
Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the colourful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events.
Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael Garcia Bernal) and together they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
There are, as we know, three different Steven Spielbergs. There’s the gee-whizz filmmaker behind U-rated family friendly yarns like the Indiana Jones movies or ET, the master of dark thrillers like Munich and the artisan behind sincere historical pieces like Amistad and Lincoln.
The Post straddles the latter two categories. It is set during the early Seventies and recalls the devastating Pentagon Papers that detailed how the Nixon administration had lied about the Vietnam War.
At a time when Donald Trump’s White House has similarly played fast and loose with facts, The Post has a topical urgency. It is carried by two typically persuasive performances from Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, as, respectively, the proprietor-publisher of the Washington Post and the paper’s editor.
Their combined gravitas carries Spielberg’s film; providing sleek, persuasive emotional heft to a film that the director essentially bashed out during prep for Ready Player One. Props to Spielberg, as ever.
Years after Europe was ravaged by the Maze virus, transforming people into cannibalistic monsters, a cure is finally found. In 75% of cases the treatment is successful but the cured remember everything they did while infected.
Amongst them is Senan Browne (Sam Keeley), a man haunted by the memories of his actions. As he returns to the home of his brother’s widow, Abbie (Ellen Page), fear and suspicion threaten to plunge the world back into chaos.
Also new this week:
Death Smiles On A Murderer
Insidious: Last Key
Old Dark House
Requiem For A Vampire