The summer is approaching and blockbuster season is in full swing. We’re still recovering from the Cannes Film Festival and the fallout from the dramatic events of Avengers: Infinity War, but here are the highlights heading to your local cinema this month. Can any compete with the World Cup?
It’s been around for a while, and played at numerous festivals, so the hype surrounding François Ozon’s erotic French thriller is palpable. The title loosely translates as Double Lover, which proves to be apt. The plot follows a young woman who falls in love with her therapist and moves in with him. Things seem to be going well until she suspects her partner is hiding a dark secret and concealing aspects of his true identity from her.
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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Jurassic franchise continues to fascinate audiences, becoming something of a summer tradition. This blockbuster series of films has evolved over the years from the original Jurassic Park (1993), which stunned audiences thanks to its ground-breaking visual effects, into a more entertaining, but less substantial concept. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard return from the last outing, but a bridge to the first film is Jeff Goldblum, who is back as the laconic Dr. Ian Malcolm. The scariest thing about all of this is that the original was released 25 years ago… enough to make us feel as old as the dinosaurs on show.
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Eight years after his death, Alexander McQueen remains one of the most influential names in British fashion. Following a meteoric rise which saw the teenager from London gain attention from Givenchy before launching his own label, McQueen committed suicide days before London Fashion Week in 2010. Friends and family of the designer appear in the documentary via archival footage, with several revelations along the way.
The other highly-touted horror film of the year (the first being the brilliant A Quiet Place), Hereditary looks like a chiller that will haunt you for weeks after you watch it. The trailer is a masterclass in how to build tension and excitement without giving too much away. We’re already intrigued by the buzz and slightly off-kilter nature of the footage we’ve seen so far which leads us to wonder what surprises await in the movie itself.
The Happy Prince
A passion project for Rupert Everett, who directs and stars in this drama about Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince is a timely reminder of how far society has come in recent years. The fascinating thing about this film is that forgoes the usual conventions of historical pieces and picks up the story towards the end of the central character’s life. Wilde is an old, penniless man when we meet him, struggling to get by in Paris’ unforgiving streets in the late 1890s. His time in prison for homosexual relations have taken their devastating toll on him, but there are still flashes of the genius that brought him fame in Victorian London. Everett is wonderfully unselfish in the lead role.
Ocean’s 8 is an all-female follow-up to Steven Soderbergh’s heist trilogy. Featuring some of the biggest names in the industry, director Gary Ross’s version hands over the ‘Ocean’ mantle to Sandra Bullock. The heist this time is set to take place at the Met Gala in New York, with Anne Hathaway as the victim. Expect a plethora of celebrity cameos and more than a passing nod to the original film.
In the Fade
Much like L’Amant Double, this German/French co-production has been on our radar since Cannes last year, where Diane Kruger picked up the best actress award. In the Fade sees a woman’s life fall apart after her husband and son are killed in a bomb attack. As the police and authorities investigate the attack, the woman seeks her own brand of vengeance to get some sense of closure. The film was the official German selection for the Oscars this year.
Shailene Woodley (Big Little Lies) and Sam Claflin are two of the hottest young actors in Hollywood at the moment. In this movie they play couple who fall madly in love and head off on an ocean-bound adventure of a lifetime. This dream predictably turns into a nightmare, however, when one of the biggest hurricanes ever recorded hits their tiny boat. This remarkable survival story is actually based on a real life incident.
Leave No Trace
A highlight from the Sundance Film Festival in London, Debra Granik makes her feature film return with this contemplative drama about a father and daughter living in the woods avoiding other people wherever they can. Granik’s last film, excluding the documentary Stray Dog (2013), was Winter’s Bone (2010), which was the film that brought Jennifer Lawrence to international acclaim. Leave No Trace could do the same for 17-year-old Thomasin McKenzie, who is mesmerising as a teenager struggling to cope with her father’s fragile psyche.
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
Much like the subject itself, the musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, Coda is a lyrical documentary that captures the life view of a man who is best known for his spine-tingling compositions. The film was originally conceived several years ago, long before Sakamoto’s diagnosis with stage three cancer, and as such the direction in which it heads is unpredictable. What comes through is the improvisational nature of the subject as well as his remarkable ability to work through major crises.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Sicario (2015) examined the brutal and violent drug wars on the US/Mexican border. This sequel follows two of the supporting characters, Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro, who reprise their roles as American government agent and rogue uncover operative respectively. Gone is the view point of a newbie into this world as Emily Blunt steps aside, but the trailer suggests the action will be even more explosive.
It seems like June is the month for biographical documentaries, and this one aims to put you in the saddle. Racing through the viewpoint of David Millar, Time Trial follows the cyclist in his final professional season. Millar was banned for doping in 2004, but has since shown an almost unparalleled desire to resurrect both his career and his reputation. With narration provided by the man himself, and set to a fantastically jarring soundtrack that mirrors the toils of the peloton, the film is as witty and informative as the commentary Millar provides on the Tour de France.
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