One of these films will put you in a spot—and hold you there until it gets uncomfortable. Another is deeply emotional in a "very still waters British way." All three are must-seesby Francine Stock / July 20, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Detroit Released on 25th August On 25th July 1967, Detroit was two days into riots. Resentment of a police raid on a club had led to civil unrest, looting, arson and sniper fire. The army was on the streets alongside police to maintain order and protect businesses. That night at the Algiers Motel, three young black men were killed and nine other guests badly beaten up—how, why and by whom would be contested in a series of trials. Director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) knows how to put you in a spot and hold you there until it gets uncomfortable. This drama, closely based on first-person accounts of police brutality that night, does exactly that. Of note: two of the main roles are taken by outstanding young British actors: Will Poulter and Star Wars’s John Boyega (below). Final Portrait Released on 18th August Writer/director Stanley Tucci again proves as elegant behind the camera as in front in this film about the Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush). Tucci wisely confines most of the action to Giacometti’s dingy Paris studio, restricting the palette to the hues of the work. Sylvie Testud injects real pain as the artist’s superseded muse. The film ends on a dying fall but along the way there are many delights. Williams Released on 4th August This study of Frank Williams, guiding presence of the Williams Formula One team despite a 1986 accident that left him paralysed, is compelling. At once social and family history, its strength is powerful interviews (Williams himself, daughter Claire and the extraordinary audio recordings of his late wife) combined with persuasive dramatisations. Deeply emotional in a very still waters British way.