tv The Film Review BBC News September 22, 2018 11:45pm-12:01am BST
hello, and welcome to the film review on bbc news. to take us through this week's cinema releases is mark kermode. it's almost becoming a habit! it is. what have you got for us this week? it is a very strange week. we have the little stranger, the new film by lenny abrahamson. we have a simple favor, which i know you are going to see it this weekend, so you're looking forward to the review. can't wait. and the house with a clock in its walls, which is a sort of family fantasy with a horror inflection. ok then. so first, the little stranger,
is this about a haunted house, or haunted residents? the question about whether it is actually haunted is sort of central to it, so it's based on a novel by sarah waters, stars domhnall gleeson. he is this dr faraday who goes to a house where he is called to attend to someone working there, who appears to be ill, but he thinks they are just freaked out. something has scared them. and it turns out that he went to this house when he was a child, where his mother worked there and he was completely overwhelmed by the house and he kind of fell in love with it. but now he goes back, and the house is crumbling, and the people inside the house appear to be coming apart. and everyone is sort of slightly brittle, slightly on edge and there is something creepy going on in the background. here's a clip. how did you find the patient, doctor? mrs ayres. mother, this is dr faraday. he thinks we're brutes. a little under the weather. i imagine she'll be
quite well by tomorrow. you'll observe a change in betty yet. this house works on people. girls come here like specks of grit. ten years later, they leave as pearls. i expect dr faraday's thinking betty won't stick it out for ten years. most girls would rather work in factories these days, and who can blame them? as it happens, i was thinking of my mother. she was a maid here before i was born. well, i do hope she enjoyed her time. right, roderick. so there is something wrong. there is talk about the house being haunted by, you know, by the little stranger. fantastic performance by ruth wilson there, who is somebody who seems to be trapped in the house. it's like the fall of the house of usher, everything is falling apart around her. the question is, is it a haunting or is it people imagining things,
or is it them projecting their own fears and anxieties on to the house itself? if you have ever read the haunting of hill house, the shirley jackson novel, one of the greatest ghost stories ever written, there's a lot of that in this. i think one of the problems is it has been marketed slightly as a horror film, as a chiller. it is not. it is absolutely not a horror film. it's a psychological drama, which happens to have a ghostly edge, and you can read pretty much the whole film in one of two different ways. i liked it. i liked the fact that it lets the pot simmer rather than boil. it's paced very moderately, it takes its time, it tells its story in an orderly fashion, but you get this growing sense of disorder. there's a couple of really terrific performances in it, i think particularly ruth wilson, who is absolutely great. my only worry is, i think some audiences might grow slightly impatient if they go, thinking it's going to be a ghost story, it's going to be a chiller, which is why when you say is it a ghost story, yes, but no.
it's — you can read it in a number of ways, but i thought it was rather well done, and rather impressive in a very low—key, very understated fashion. it's very spare, isn't it, the way it's — the script is quite stripped back. it builds up tension. you get a sense something is wrong but you're not quite sure what, and as i said, the key to this is the haunting of hill house, which is the urtext from all modern ghost stories and it's written large on this. i'm really slightly anxious now about the second film, which is a simple favor. i've been co—opted by my 14—year—old daughter to go and see this film, so, tell me it's a good choice. so, it's directed by paul feig. andrea kendrick is this staid supermum, who she is somebody is at school being all perfect and over volunteering. her son makes friends with another child whose mother is blake lively‘s martini—swilling pr executive. they form an unlikely friendship.
anna kendrick‘s character starts to see a possible new world opening up to her — and then herfriend disappears. somebody described this as gone girl'sjust wanna have fun. and it is definitely — it wasn't my line, it is a good line, but not mine — it's the most crazy mishmash of genres. on the one hand, it's a ditsy romcom, then it's a twisted erotic a thriller, then it's an old—fashioned whodunnit. the book was described as being like in the mould of gone girl, and yet somebody else described the film as a post noir comedy. there are times watching it i literally thought, this is the most chaotic film i have ever seen. however, i liked it. and the reason i liked it was because you have two great performances, anna kendrick and blake lively, who somehow, even when the film is careering around like a boat tossed on a roaring ocean, they somehow keep their eye on the horizon, and as long as you stick with them, you go with it. one minute, it's funny, the next minute, it's weird,
then it's twisted, then you are meant to take it seriously, then it is not. it really did seem sometimes like channel surfing, but all the way through it, you have these two central performances, they sink their teeth into the material gleefully. it has a nice bite to it. i came out thinking, "that was all over the shop, but i liked it." i think i am going to need a lie down after it, but i will go and see it anyway. you'll enjoy it. as you come out, ask yourself, what that was all about? genre? what genre? the house with a clock in its walls. if the cast is anything to go by, it should be a treat. very good cast. jack black, cate blanchett, based on a very, very popular book from the 1970s. an orphaned kid is sent to stay with his uncle, played by jack black, who is a warlock. he's somebody who conjures up spells cate blanchett is the next—door neighbour, mrs zimmerman, with whom he has a sparring, but ultimately
loving relationship. here is a clip. that's a lot of clocks. what constitutes a lot is really a matter of personal taste. for me, it's a perfect amount of clocks. oh, sorry, there's a deranged cuckoo in there. your ratchet wheel's shot and the click spring's not far behind. hello. you're lewis, i presume. how was your trip? this old hag is my next door neighbour, mrs florence zimmerman. i'm relieved to see you didn't inherent your uncle's freakishly oversized head. ha! says the woman who literally looks like a 0 tip. oh, look, the giant head is angry. my god, did that withered purple skeleton just speak? she thinks she's smarter than me because she has more college degrees. no, i think i'm smarter than you because i'm smarter than you. now,the relationship between those two is actually the most fun of the film. the rest of it, it's directed by eli roth, who is known as a hard—core horror director, and did things like hostel. this is a very strange choice for him. i have to say,
i don't think it works. it's — although the source material predates harry potter and those novels, the film itself looks very much like — not even post harry potter, post percy jackson and the lightning thief. it has a lot of special effects, but for a film about magic, it isn't very magical. the script doesn't hang together in any way, sense orform, so as the narrative is unfolding, what is the thing with the clock, the back story? so at no point does it do that thing that one of the movies really needs to do, which is to click, oh, i'm in a different area, i'm in a new realm, you know, magical possibilities. so it's a mess. one of the strange things is i like, you know, films for younger viewers that have got a bit of scares in them. i remember thinking that the harry potter movies were basically hammer movies for younger viewers, and i mean hammer in a good sense because i am a big fan of the hammer films. this felt all over the place.
it is interesting because it has a lot of resources, it has this source material and a very good cast, and special effects, all available to the director, and yet it is a mess of a film that i think will disappoint more than it will enchant. some people will get some fun out of it because there are some nice moments, particularly in the relationship between the two central adults, but beyond that, i don't see it having a huge shelf life. best out is wajib, a palestinian drama. yeah, i really liked this. this was the palestinian entry for the foreign language film oscar, although it wasn't nominated. it is a story of father and a son, who are estranged, travelling round nazareth in the run—up to christmas, but they are handing out wedding invitations, which they have to do by hand, that is the wajib, the duty of the title. and as they travel around, you discover their relationship, how they've fallen out. one has has stayed, one has gone away, one is young, one is old, there is resentment, and yet it's really funny, it's very subtle. it is kind of bitter in some places, it blends the personal and the political.
it is very, very low—key, and i thought it was kind of wonderful. it did the thing i want a film to do, which is to intrigue me about the characters, and i thought it was really good. it's called wajib. it's a very small release, but if you get a chance, do check it out, it's really good. and best dvd this week is the breadwinner, which is an animation. and a hand—drawn one at that? it is an animation directed by norah twomey. it is made by the people who made song of the sea, so it's not one of those 3—d digital animations. this has cut—outs and hand—drawns and different forms of animation. it is the story of a young girl living in taliban era kabul, whose father and brother are arrested, and leaving only women in the house. women are not allowed to go out of the house on their own, so she has to disguise herself as a boy to go out into the town, and suddenly she discovers this whole new world when she changes gender, and it's really brilliant. it deals with some dark subject matter, but in a way that is accessible. they have made it so it can be watched by viewers of all ages. there is tough stuff in it, though.
i loved it, it is one of my favourite films of the year. i thought it was absolutely brilliant. mark, as ever, thank you very much, particularly for the reassurance over the choice of our film this weekend. do ask yourself, what was that all about? i expect to be bamboozled. a quick reminder before you go — you will find more film news and reviews from across the bbc online. and you can find all of our previous programmes on the bbc iplayer. that's it for this week. thanks for watching. bye. good evening. it has been a mixed picture out their weatherwise. there was some sunshine and a few showers in the north. there was a lot more cloud with out wrecks of rain in the south. that will continue into sunday. with a clear skies in north yorkshire, under the clear skies is quite a chilly night. a cool start
to sunday, a mix of sunshine and showers for many places but more heavy rain in the south. this shows the area of cloud pushing in from the area of cloud pushing in from the west but that will bring some outbreaks of rain late at night across parts of wales, south—west england. the rain we saw in the south—east has cleared away so many places are dry overnight. quite a chilly night ahead in the north, perfectly for rural parts of scotland. we are likely to see temperatures not getting too far from freezing. you can see the green and blue colours indicating the chilly start in the north. one of two showers to start the day in north and western parts of scotland and you can see the rain working through wales and the south—west of england. that is all down to this frontal system that will gradually pushit frontal system that will gradually push it south—east across southern pa rt push it south—east across southern part of england and wales as well. high—pressure in the north, mostly dry to northern england to start the day. scotland and northern england seeing a mix of sun and showers.
there is the rain across south wales and southern england. eddie betts of rain in the south—east at the winds that can have it —— gusts of 50 miles an hour. brighter skies returning to south—west england and wales later in the day with a few showers. northern england, northern ireland and scotland thing a mix of sunshine and scattered showers. we will continue to see showers and it odd rumble of thunder with some hail mixed in as well. temperatures not great for this time of year. 11 to 15 degrees. we lose the wet weather from the south—east of england. most places dry to end the day on sunday. high—pressure moves in from the west. this area of high pressure will quieten the weather down as we move into the new working week. monday will be a much improved date up monday will be a much improved date up and down the country. sunshine on offer for the week ahead, showers
across parts of scotland, northern ireland, it should be bright after a 5°99y ireland, it should be bright after a soggy weekend across southern parts of england and wales as well. this is bbc news, i'm lewis vaughan jones. our top stories: christine blasey ford, the woman who has accused us supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh of sexual assault when they were teenagers, has agreed to testify against him next week. as iran's president promises a "crushing response" after at least 25 people are killed at a military parade, tehran accuses britain, the netherlands, and denmark of harbouring opposition groups. for british broadcaster sky, ending a dramatic two—year battle with 21st century fox. and anthony joshua has defended his wba, wbo and ibf heavyweight titles with a seventh—round stoppage of alexander povetkin at wembley.