Plus the documentary Capernaum about a Lebanese boy suing his parentsby Wendy Ide / December 12, 2018 / Leave a comment
The Favourite, released 1st January
There is nothing remotely polite about this society portrait. It’s a crackling, caustic imagined account of the intrigue lurking among the vipers in the court of a sickly Queen Anne. As played by the incomparable Olivia Colman, the Queen is petulant and needy, initially a tragi-comic figure who is governed by her capable confidante Lady Sarah (Rachel Weiss). Sarah uses the monarch’s frailty to carve out her own power play. Then her impoverished cousin Abigail arrives at court and Sarah finds she has a rival for the Queen’s favour. Lavishly profane and gorgeously designed, this is an earthy, uproariously funny delight.
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, released 1st February
For once, Melissa McCarthy, below, gets a role which is worthy of her talents. She plays celebrity biographer Lee Israel, in this fact-based comedy drama. When the book commissions dry up, the irascible and unapologetically charmless Lee turns her capable hand to forgery, with her reprobate drinking buddy Jack (a badly behaved Richard E Grant) as her partner in crime. An immensely enjoyable tall tale.
Capernaum, released 1st February
The non-professional cast of this Cannes prize-winning melodrama were chosen because their own stories mirror those of the characters. It adds a level of credibility which gives this already potent piece of filmmaking a wrenching power. Central in the story is Zain, a streetwise kid from the slums of Lebanon who decides to sue his parents for giving him life. The court case is the framework about which the film is hung, but the real power is in the fluid beauty of the camera work which captures the chaos of lives on the streets.