American Hustle, the shiny retro mafia romp from The Silver Linings Playbook’s David O Russell, starring The Silver Linings Playbook’s Bradley Cooper, and The Silver Linings Playbook’s Jennifer Lawrence (and some other people) comes out next week. The title seems to suggest that there’s something particularly American about being a con artist in the seventies. As a full-on tea-drinking foul-mouthed middle class Brit, who am I to disagree with this? Here are five more titles which have taught me something about what it’s like to be from THE LAND OF THE FREE.
Hallowe’en is upon us! Sort of. I’d like to say that’s the reason I decided upon a rewatch of Wes Craven’s Scream, but really I’d been wanting to for a while. I don’t even care about Hallowe’en. Though the film itself is overtly educational in the rules of surviving a horror, there are so many other subtleties to be garnered from this hormone-riddled nineties bloodbath.
As the women of Britain mourn the passing of Mark Darcy, I found myself overwhelmed with an impulse to watch Bridget Jones’ Diary, which I haven’t done for about six years. I’m really glad I did, as it proved to be incredibly educational. Here are some things I learnt.
Being a dad is hard, especially when your kids turn into raging bags of hormones. Either I’ve reached the age where I identify with the parents in high school movies, rather than the teenagers themselves (how depressing), or they were some of the best characters to start with. I’m hoping it’s the latter. Either way, the fathers of these angst-ridden children have it tough. Here are five who seem to do the best for their kids, against all odds:
Ah, star-crossed love, favourite of doe-eyed teenage girls all over the land. This year sees the release of Upside Down, a classic posh-bird-falls-for-common-scamp tale, the extra romantic hurdle being EXISTING ON SEPARATE GRAVITATIONAL PLANES. As someone unwilling to date anyone more than three tube stops away (because ugh, effort), I can’t help but admire their tenacity. And that, with several other reasons, is why my life never formed the basis of a rom-com. Here are some folks who tried harder.
Harald Zwart, while speaking about his adaptation of young adult fantasy novel The Mortal Instruments, has cited The Exorcist and the original version of The Thing as influences. Zwart says he thinks it’s good for kids to be scared, and I agree to some extent. Children use films to explore feeling. Fear, loss, confusion; they’re all up on screens from the get go. But Zwart’s desire to scare seems too outspoken, too full-frontal for a children’s tale.
Nicolas Winding Refn’s neo-noir Bangkok gorefest Only God Forgives has been dividing critics and audiences alike since it got booed by some of the less impressed guests at Cannes. With potent western tendencies, sly nods to surrealist cinema as far back as Un Chien Andalou, and oppressively-soundtracked dream sequences to make the most seasoned Twin Peaks aficionados cream themselves, it’s hard to ignore. Love it or hate it, there are a few lessons we can learn from this darkly violent acid dream.