The potential break-down of a marriage is rarely imagined as an area ripe for hilarity. To debut writer-director Dan Mazer, however, it’s rib-tickling gold. Those moments of crippling doubt as you wonder whether you’ve made a mistake; side-splitting! The anguish you feel over your attraction somebody else; uproarious! So, how does Mazer attempt to justify humour in the heartbreak? It’s easy, really – he simply writes protagonists so unlikeable that the audience never cares about them in the first place.
We’ve been lacking in Bill Murray love for a while, haven’t we? Aside from his all too brief appearance (for us, anyway) in Moonrise Kingdom last year, we’ve waited long enough for another heartwarming starring role from Murray. In comes Hyde Park on Hudson; sentimental, amusing and heartfelt, the film follows the love affairs and political concerns of Franklin D. Roosevelt at the start of the Second World War. Murray may deliver a wholly believable performance, but the film’s tendency to drift in between storylines severely and unfairly lets it down.
Ah, relationships. Those beautiful, successful people and their many, many problems.
We were totally there and everything. ARE WE ACHIEVING YET, DAD?
A merciless exploration of rage, shame, paralysis and bitterness, Tyrannosaur would be nigh on impossible to watch if it wasn’t also absolutely hypnotic. Staggering central performances from Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman add powerful weight to a sparse, unpretentious script – a debut piece for writer/director Paddy Considine. Enjoyable might be the wrong word, but this is vital viewing all the same.
Having picked up the award for Best Actress In A Drama at Sunday’s Golden Globes, it is already very clear what The Iron Lady’s strengths are. In choosing to take the woman out of the politics (or rather, the other way around), however, director Phyllida Lloyd runs the risk of wasting everyone’s time in exchange for one award worthy performance.