Entertainment Film reviews: Shirley | Borat | The Painter and the Thief | His House | Relic
Worker ensures giant Borat is covered up as he floats down Thames
A giant inflatable Borat has been sent down the River Thames to promote the comedy film's new sequel. The 40ft float has been used to mark the release of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.The 40ft float of Sacha Baron Cohen's character has been used to mark the release of Borat Subsequent Moviefilm on Amazon Prime.
Elisabeth Moss digs deep to portray the celebrated American horror writer Shirley Jackson in Josephine Decker’s fictionalised pseudo-biopic
Shirley (15) *****
Borat: Subsequent Movie Film (15) ****
The Painter and the Thief (15) ****
His House (15) ***
Relic (15) ***
After the creative breakthrough of her previous film Madeline’s Madeline, US filmmaker Josephine Decker confirms her status as one of the most daring and inventive directors out there with Shirley, a strange, fictionalised, pseudo-biopic of the famed horror writer Shirley Jackson, author of The Haunting of Hill House and numerous gleefully twisted short stories. Starring Elisabeth Moss as Jackson, the film uses the writing of Jackson’s second novel, Hangsaman (first published in 1951), as a loose framework for an outré psychological portrait of the writer that’s as unhinged as some of her stories. What’s fact and fiction here is kept deliberately ambiguous as Shirley bonds with Rose (Odessa Young), the young housewife of an ambitious but dull academic (Logan Lerman) employed as an assistant to Shirley’s own husband, the literary critic Stanley Edgar Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg), portrayed here as a vigorously intellectual and libidinous letch who invites the young couple to live with them, ostensibly so Rose can cook, clean and take care of the agoraphobic Shirley. Decker and her cast have a lot of fun with this weird domestic arrangement, revelling in the boho mischievousness of Shirley’s world and the darker undercurrents of the surrounding college town of Bennington that inspires her writing.
Body camera video shows encounter between George cops and Borat
The newly released body camera footage from the Lilburn Police Department in Georgia shows officers' encounter with Sacha Baron Cohen as Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev on January 27.The hilarious encounter took place back in January on Main Street in the Atlanta suburb of Lilburn and was captured on a police body camera video.
Moss is especially great as she digs deep to explore the way Jackson’s chosen mode of artistic expression teases out Shirley’s own understanding of the insecurities that have kept her tethered to the domineering Stanley. But it’s also about the plight of smart women forced into a state of intellectual invisibility by the retrograde attitudes of the times and the way the film repeatedly switches perspective between Shirley and Rose as their lives converge and diverge plays like a subtle acknowledgment of the “schizophrenic split” that will eventually be identified by Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique. Working from an internalised script from Sarah Gubbins, Decker trusts us to intuit the connections between Jackson’s experiences and her work, and she brings her subject to life with all the gnarly texture of one of Jackson’s stories. Boasting Martin Scorsese as an executive producer, this is a step up in scale for Decker; happily she’s using that scale to expand the parameters of what a film like this can be.
Borat 2's biggest moments really did happen as you saw them
Thousands of trees fall down in a village as flash floods hit Quang Tri in Vietnam. The flash floods caused by the heavy rain unrooted the trees and swept them to the village. Houses were submerged, dozens of people were injured and eight people were washed away by the floodwater and went missing.
In Borat: Subsequent Movie Film, Sacha Baron Cohen’s greatest creation returns for a belated sequel to show how the rampant narcissism and idiocy that the first film did such deft and hilarious job of exposing has become the dangerous norm in Trump’s America. Though the Rudy Guilliani interview that brings the new film to a close has already been exhaustively analysed and commented upon since its release last week, the film itself remains a valuable and at times very funny take-down of the willful ignorance and intolerance coursing through all levels of American society. It also boasts a remarkable, star-making performance from Bulgarian actor Maria Bakalova as Borat’s 15-years old daughter. Indeed it’s Bakalova – posing as a conservative TV journalist – who takes on Guiliani. The nerves of steel she displays are as astonishing as her increasingly creepy encounter is disturbing.
Ben Wheatley set to helm The Meg 2
Ben Wheatley is set to direct ‘The Meg 2’ in the place of the original movie's helmer Jon Turteltaub.The 48-year-old filmmaker and screenwriter has signed up to helm the upcoming sequel to the 2018 giant shark thriller, ‘The Meg’, which is currently in development at Warner Bros.
The restorative power of art is explored in all kinds of incredible ways in The Painter and Thief, Norwegian filmmaker Benjamin Ree’s brilliant documentary tracking the odd friendship that evolves between up-and-coming Czech painter Barbora Kysilkova and Karl-Bertil Nordland, a drug-addicted criminal whom she impulsively asks to pose for her after he’s convicted of stealing her two most valuable canvases from a gallery wall in Oslo in 2015. The story’s twists and turns are too good to risk ruining in a review, but suffice to say that the film stands as a genuine testament to the way art can transform the lives of those who make it and those who appreciate it – however unconventionally that appreciation is expressed.
British writer/director Remi Weekes demonstrates plenty of imagination with His House, an ambitious attempt to make an Insidious-style horror movie rooted in the harsh reality of a Sudanese couple seeking asylum in modern day Britain. Dumped in a dilapidated house on a suburban London council estate, refugees Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) soon find the atmosphere within their new home as hostile as the one outside it as the psychological trauma of their escape from conflict-strewn South Sudan starts manifesting itself in the form of eerie noises and demonic hallucinations from which their daily run-ins with racist neighbours, ignorant school kids and condescending bureaucrats offers no respite. Though a little uneven in its efforts to balance genre thrills with social commentary, the film’s twists are imaginatively rendered and Dirisu and Mosaku are good as a couple struggling to reconcile their pasts with their present. Matt Smith co-stars as their beleaguered case-worker.
Shirley Ballas says she's returned to counselling since writing book
Speaking to Platinum magazine, the Wallasey-born Strictly judge, 60, admitted she found penning the book, entitled Behind the Sequins: My Life, 'really difficult' and 'rather overwhelming'.The Wallasey-born Strictly Come Dancing judge, 60, admitted she found penning the book, entitled Behind the Sequins: My Life, 'really difficult' and 'rather overwhelming'.
There’s yet more low-key horror in Relic, an atmospheric rather than scary debut from Australian co-writer and director Natalie Erica James. Using an old woman’s dementia as a catalyst for a kind of haunted house story, the film stars Robyn Nevin as the aforementioned old woman whose temporary disappearance as the movie opens brings her estranged daughter (Emily Mortimer) and college drop-out granddaughter (Bella Heathcote) back to her creepy woodland abode. What follows is good at dramatising the stressed-out family dynamics of its protagonists, but despite fine production design, there’s a frustrating lack of commitment to its more supernatural elements
Shirley is in cinemas and streaming on Curzon Home Cinema, Borat: Subsequent Movie Film is streaming on Amazon Prime, The Painter and the Thief and Relic are in cinemas and on digital platforms, His House is streaming on Netflix.
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Kazakh American Association ask for 'Borat 2' to be disqualified from awards season .
Watch: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm trailer The Kazakh American Association has petitioned the BAFTAs, the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the DGA Awards to exclude the Borat sequel from consideration from this year's awards. In a second salvo agains Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, the non-profit organisation representing Kazakhstani people in the US has said that the film should be disqualified over its racist depiction of their home country. It hasThe Kazakh American Association has petitioned the BAFTAs, the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the DGA Awards to exclude the Borat sequel from consideration from this year's awards.