Sunday, 18 December 2011

TWO FOR THE ROAD: Spotlighting a pair of screen gems doing the 2012 awards tour

We Need To Talk About Kevin (Oscilloscope Pictures)
Director: Lynne Ramsay

In this compelling psychological thriller, Tilda Swinton delivers a richly layered performance (her most impeccable since Michael Clayton) as a beleaguered mother struggling with her teenaged son’s (Ezra Miller) increasing malevolence, which culminates in a devastating high-school killing spree. Shockingly recalling Columbine – and last year’s criminally underrated Beautiful Boy – the film is, if nothing else, a deeply disturbing look at sociopathy and the fractured relationship between a mother and son, spun with flashbacks and non-linear storytelling, even as it shines a blinding light on the polemic issue of nature versus nature. B+

*****

Hugo (Paramount)
Director: Martin Scorsese

Visceral and coated with creamy layers of spark and whimsy, Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, his first foray into children’s cinema, is characteristically Scorsese: masterfully directed. Inspired by Brian Selznick’s New York Times best-seller, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Hugo charts the fascinating adventure of a clever and resourceful orphan (played with astonishing maturity by Asa Butterfield) whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home. Overflowing with charm and mesmerizing art direction, Hugo is undoubtedly one of 2011 best box-office bets for the entire family. Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Lee are also among the film’s star-packed cast. A-








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