We continue our ADIFF 2016 coverage with more from festival veteran Mick McGovern.
dir. James Vanderbilt – ★★
Cate Blanchett plays the role of Mary Mapes, a celebrated CBS news producer who ran into trouble when she ran a story on 60 Minutes with Dan Rather that called the then President of the United States of America, George W. Bush’s military career into question. The report was based on some documents that had dubious sources and led to massive pressure on CBS to prove the validity of their story which left both Mary Mapes and Dan Rather fighting to save their careers.
The film is a comment about the fallout of the commercialisation of news reporting and what’s resulted since but the film points the finger at certain people for this, while letting others off the hook. The film also sadly suffers a lot from coming out so soon after ‘Spotlight’ which showcased the virtues of not rushing a story and making sure due process is done.
Out in Irish Cinemas March 4th
dir. Joachim Trier – ★★½
Isabelle Huppert plays a celebrated war photographer who dies in a car crash and leaves behind her husband (Gabriel Byrne) and sons (Jesse Eisenberg, Devin Druid) struggling to pick up the pieces after and moving on. Trier’s film beautifully illustrates male grief and failure to communicate brilliantly. The film also skilfully threads the character’s differing recollections and relationships with the deceased and the different stages of grief that they are at. The film also dodges the usual clichés for the most part and maudlin tropes that can sometimes bog down films that deal with similar issues.
Out in Irish Cinemas April 22nd
dir. Declan Recks – ★★★
Set in a post-Troubles Northern Ireland, The Truth Commissioner follows the fictional story of Henry Stanfield (Roger Allam), a diplomat who has just been appointed as the Truth Commissioner to Northern Ireland. The idea being that the sins of the past can be admitted to the commission and the families of the victims of past violence can get the truth and move on. However not everyone is happy with the idea, particularly because of the fact that the elected officials of today were mixed up with the events of the past.
The film is obviously particularly politically charged and the thriller is sure to create conflicting opinions but for the most part it’s put together quite well, especially considering the minimal budget. The film starts a little slowly and with a couple of subplots that felt a bit out of place but once everything gets going the pacing is fairly spot on and the different threads and stories gather momentum and come together quite well. Personally would have loved to have seen more of Seán McGinley and Conleth Hill to be nitpicky
Out in Irish Cinemas February 26th
dir. Joco Van Dormeal – ★★★½
Well where to start with this plot? The film deals with God’s ten-year-old daughter, Ea, telling us that God is pretty flawed and a bit of an arse who created man so he could indulge his nasty side. She also tells us he has no special powers but controls everything through a computer which she locks him out of so she can recruit six new apostles from Brussels and write a Brand New Testament to make life on Earth a lot better.
The films surreal humour is quite odd and playful but if you go with it there’s plenty to enjoy particularly Benoît Poelvoorde’s performance as God and Catherine Deneuve leaving her husband for a circus gorilla.
Out in Irish Cinemas April 15th
dir. Ben Wheatley – ★★★½
Ben Wheatley’s latest collaboration with screenwriter Amy Jump is an adaption of JG Ballard’s book of the same name about the occupants of a luxury high rise apartment block where people are offered all the mod cons that they need. However, there is a hierarchy in the high rise and problems begin when power failures start to occur, leading to the different floors and classes clashing, causing life in the high rise to slowly deteriorate into violence and mayhem.
The film, shot in Northern Ireland, brilliantly captures the 70’s chic and look and casts all the characters quite well but it’s hard to connect with any one of them too much. This then means that while the visceral spectacle of it all is impressive to watch you kind of feel a bit detached and unmoved by a lot of what’s going on at times more than you should.
Out in Irish Cinemas March 18th
Latest posts by Mick McGovern (see all)
- ADIFF Reviews: Departure // 100 Yen Love // Time Out of Mind // Miles Ahead // Son of Saul // Viva - March 2, 2016
- ADIFF Reviews: Anomalisa // Green Room // My King (Mon Roi) - March 1, 2016
- ADIFF Reviews: Truth // Louder Than Bombs // The Truth Commissioner // The Brand New Testament // High-Rise - February 24, 2016
- ADIFF Reviews: Maggie’s Plan // Hail, Caesar! // Nasty Baby - February 23, 2016