tv The Film Review BBC News January 21, 2017 1:45pm-2:01pm GMT
hello, and welcome to the film review on bbc news. to take us through this week's cinema releases, as ever, mark kermode is with me, and what will you be telling us about this week, mark? very interesting week. we have jackie, in which natalie portman plays the first lady. we have split, a psychological thrillerfrom m night shyamalan. and lion, the true story of a little boy lost. well, jackie, how timely? yes, extraordinary, isn't it. so this is directed by chilean film—maker pablo larrain, and it's the story of the assassination and aftermath ofjohn f kennedy, as seen through the eyes of jackie kennedy, played, as everyone will know, by natalie portman. there's been an awful lot of interest in her performance, lots and lots of nominations, and the film plays out like a kaleidoscope. it's essentiallyjuggling a series of different time frames that are all meant to be representing her fragmented state of mind, so we have the motorcade in dallas, the aftermath in washington, we have the funeral, the huge sort of funeral arrangements, and we also have a wrap round which is
jackie kennedy being interviewed by a journalist who, in the film is unnamed, but it's obviously inspired by the life magazine interview. at the very beginning of the interview she says to him, "just remember i'm editing this conversation." and he says, "ok, it's going to be your version of events." here's a clip. you'll have to share something personal eventually. people won't stop asking until you do. and if i don't, they'll interpret my silence however they want? "her brow furrows, her lips are drawn. she holds back her tears but she can't hide her anger." most writers want to be famous. you want to be famous? no, i'm fine as i am, thank you. you should prepare yourself. this article will bring you a great deal of attention. in that case, any advice for me? yes. don't marry the president. are you afraid i'm about to cry again?
no, i'd say you're more likely to scream? scream what? "my husband was a great man." and interesting, because people might think we know everything there is to know about that story, is there anything new in this, does it resonate? what it does is, it attempts to portray her, firstly as somebody going through an horrendous personal crisis, and we do have the assassination, and it is shocking, as it should be. but also somebody who, in the period immediately afterwards, is constructing the legacy, is basically building the camelot story, which then became the story everybody told aboutjfk. jackie is portrayed very much as first lady of the televisual age, somebody who is a master of the printed word and also the moving image. some of the things — you may have noticed from that clip her performance is very arch, very stagey, very mannered, and when i first saw the film i actually found that alienating. it was only later on, and i have seen it twice now, i realised what it is alienated.
she is alienated from her surroundings. because the film has this kaleidescopic and necessarily fragmentary structure, it is possible that it may not gel, that it may not engage you emotionally. the key to it doing the emotional engagement is mica levi's score, which is absolutely brilliant, and it's one of those films in which the music is the thing that pulls it all together. pulls all these different fragments, shards, elements together, and involves you in the story emotionally. i think natalie portman‘s performance is very peculiar, very strange, but it's because she is performing a performance. she is playing somebody on a stage, also somebody in the eye of a storm. the music for me is what made it, you know, cohere, what made it gel, what made it into something other than just a kind of arch and slightly abstract exercise in revisiting history. well, we will find out next week whether she has been nominated for an oscar, of course. let's talk about split. james mcavoy, great british actor back on the screen. yes, so this is a new film
from m night shyamalan, who i think is still best known for the sixth sense, and had a run of critically acclaimed films and then made some real stinkers, and kind of came back recently with a sort of stripped down found footage movie. this is, i think it's an interesting story. james mcavoy plays somebody who has 23 separate personalities. at the beginning of film we see him kidnapping some young women, one of them is played by anya taylor—joy, who was so brilliant in the witch, who realises pretty early on the key to her survival is going to be negotiating with different personalities that seem to be existing within this one warring character. now, mcavoy has real fun with the role. he really enjoys it. on the one hand, he is playing someone who is a fashion designer, another is a young child with a lisp, and there's a veyr prim, proper woman called patricia, and all these controlling elements, and they keep talking about the beast, the beast, this thing called the beast, which may or may not surface. shyamalan, i think, is not quite the master of the genre
that he once looked like being. sometimes the screenplay is very clunky, some of the direction is a little bit creaky and the story is preposterous, but in a way which is — but if you saw it as like an old fashioned b—movie, when you kind of think, 0k, it's one of those films, it kind of functions 0k, but it is held shoulder high by mcavoy‘s performance, and also by the fact that if you accept that the set—up is fairly preposterous, and what you're going to get shouldn't be taken too seriously, there are certain joys about it. it is much better than the films he was making a few years ago, when he really did seem to be somebody, who, having started with brilliant work like sixth sense, had then just gone completely out of control, and was making nonsensical science fiction movies. and described as a horror film when i've read about it. is that accurate? it's a psychological thriller with some horror elements, yes. that's probably the best way...
i think he would like to describe it as a mystery. i would describe it as a clunky b—movie, raised shoulder high by the central performance, which of course is several central performances in one. lion, based on a true story. an extraordinary true story. this whole thing about truth is stranger than fiction. the story of a young boy in the mid—80s, from kandahar, who got onto a train on which he was trapped, which then travelled 1600 kilometres, and by the time he got off it he was away from home, couldn't speak the language, didn't know how to describe how to get himself back home, and ended up in the hands of the authorities and ended up being adopted by a couple in tasmania. decades later, the taste of an indian sweet food suddenly sends him into a reverie, which takes him back to his childhood and he suddenly becomes obsessed with trying to find the life that he lost, and had almost forgotten about. here's a clip. saroo! you need to face reality. what do you mean, reality? do you have any idea what it's
like knowing my real brother and mother spend every day of their lives looking for me? how every day my real brother screams my name? can you imagine the pain they must be in, not knowing where i am? 25 years, luce. 25! why didn't you tell me that was happening for you? we swan about in our privileged lives. it makes me sick. i have to find home. they need to know i'm 0k. i mean, he's a hugely likeable actor, dev patel. he is absolutely brilliant in this, and also the film itself does a very good job of not becoming what you think it might be, which is the film in which somebody looks something up on google earth. it's a film which has real emotional resonance. the opening scenes with the young
boy, the five—year—old boy getting lost in the train station has a spielberg—y element to it. the young kid with the enormous machinery of these train stations. it's heartbreaking stuff. it doesn't descend into melodrama. nicole kidman as saroo's adoptive mother does a very, very good job of an understated performance, which manages to show two things. firstly anguish, but she also manages to demonstrate love, which is a really hard thing to act on screen, and i think she does it brilliantly. i have seen this twice now, both times i confess i have been reduced to floods of tears by it. i think you would have to be pretty hard hearted not to. it is a really, really moving story, and it is told in a way which is populist and accessible, but also, i think, profoundly touching, and even second time around, even when i knew, because the first time round i didn't know anything about the story, i saw it completely cold. even second time round when i did, ifound it a very overwhelming experience.
definitely one to see then. best out — i have a feeling i know what you might pick? it's la la land. the biggest problem la la land has is, everyone says la la land is brilliant, so now there is almost a backlash, people saying "0h, surely it can't be as good as that." it is, i'm sorry, it is. it's a modern musical that owes a debt to the umbrellas of cherbourg and singin‘ in the rain, but also to casablanca and new york, new york. and the big crowd scenes, the big numbers are quite something. and i've heard some people say "oh, there's not a memorable tune in it." there's lots! of course there are. i could be singing that soundtrack endlessly since seeing the film. i thought it was really charming. i thnk damien chazelle has done an absolutely brilliant job. i would recommend anybody saw it. it's bitter—sweet. it does have a strong poignant thread of sadness, which is what makes the joyful element morejoyful. i loved it. i absolutely loved it. your thoughts about dvd. i don't know this one, i confess. so kubo and the two strings is an animated film, stop motion animation film, and, i mean, i'm a huge animation fan, not least because it's
such a diverse genre. what i loved about this is the animation itself is breathtaking, you canjust watch it over and over again, which is why it's lovely to have it for home viewing. it's a lovely complicated multi—layered story, which is told through words, actions, but also through music, and it's one of those films i think genuinely audiences of all ages can watch, and a film which treats its audience with respect. it imagines that its audience is smart enough to keep up with the story, is emotionally engaged enough to understand the deeper themes of the story, and are also willing for the story to play out in its own time. i thought it was dazzling. i thought it was wonderful, and several nominations. i think it's a film which really deserves repeat viewing. i can imagine, i have the blu—ray of this, i can imagine going back to it time and time again, and every time you see it seeing something you missed the first time. well, that is a recommendation. mark, great to see you, as ever, thank you very much. just a reminder, you can find more film news and reviews from across the bbc online, including you can see
all these previous shows. that's at bbc.co.uk/markkermode. also, of coarse, it is award season. we were talking about natalie portman, find out who has been nominated for the oscars on our special programme coming on tuesday, 1.15 lunchtime, on the bbc news channel. join me and the film critic jason solomons for all of that. that's the oscar nominations 2017. that's it for this week, though, thanks for watching. bye. hello. it's a cold start to the weekend. it's going to remain cold throughout the weekend and into the start of next week. it's high pressure dominating our weather so generally fine and settled, good spells of sunshine around. it has been a cold frosty start. areas of cloud too across the south—west and across the midlands and in to the north—east too. some lovely sunshine around. more widespread sunshine
across scotland than what we saw yesterday as that weather watcher pictures shows. some areas of cloud thick enough to produce spots of rain and low cloud and mist and fog, as well. like that one in shropshire. this area of cloud will continue to move northwards and there will be some light and patchy rain. also the cloud across the south—west of england migrating further eastwards across southern counties, as well, could see showers here towards the evening. clear skies through the central slice of wales to england and east anglia, temperatures will befalling away here. to the north, northern england quite damp here with spots of light rain and drizzle and wintriness over the higher grounds. skies clouding up the higher grounds. skies clouding up through the afternoon over northern ireland but a lovely end to the day for much of scotland with lovely evening sunshine. in to the overnight period we see that cloud migrating northwards across western areas, some spots of rain likely and wintriness over the higher ground. don't be surprised to see a dusting
of snow in one or two places for sunday morning. more cloud around but some areas that will catch a frost, it's going to be cold with mist and fog. for sunday some areas starting off cold and frosty with sunshine. other areas cloudy with showers around. again could be wintriness over the higher ground across the north and the west. temperatures, another cold day on the cards. could make eight or nine across the south—west and central and southern areas probably seeing the best of the sunshine through sunday. into sunday evening, we start to see fog developing across clear spells into central and southern parts of england. some of it could be dense. that really is the theme to monday and tuesday. areas closers to the centre of this high pressure could see dense fog patches. the problem is mainly for england and wales. if you catch that fog it will be dense and is likely to be slow to clear too. could give some travel disruption for monday
and tuesday morning. keep tuned to bbc local radio or keep up to date with the weather forecast. see you later. this is bbc news. the headlines: president trump begins his first full day as america's new leader and starts to see through on his campaign pledges. inauguration day ended with a series of balls, with the president pledging to fight for the american people. we are going to do a really good job and i will be fighting every single day for you. meanwhile a day of protests is taking place around the world in support of women's rights and against trump's presidency. nine people have now been rescued from an italian hotel which was buried by an avalanche almost three days ago. british tennis number one johanna konta storms into the last 16 of the australian open. and coming up in half—an—hour, inside out explores whether time rationing is crippling the nhs.