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Love It Or Leave It? UK Cinematic Review Roundup January 27th

Today we’re doing our regular rounding up of the pick of the week’s UK cinematic releases to see what’s worth a visit to the local multiplex, what’s probably best left to a later viewing at home and what’s not worth wasting your precious time at all… Love it – or leave it!

HACKSAW RIDGE – dir. Mel Gibson

Hope Madden states that Gibson ‘is returning to what works’ for him with HACKSAW RIDGE, that namely being ‘Bathing an audience in violence – but violence in service of a noble cause’. However, ‘screenwriters Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan burden the film with every cliché in the WWII movie arsenal, from the wholesome hometown love to the flatly stereotyped platoon mates to nearly every line in the film’. Despite this, ‘between Gibson’s skill behind the camera and Andrew Garfield’s commitment to his character, HACKSAW RIDGE always manages to be better than the material. And there is really no denying Gibson’s knack for action, carnage and viscera – all in the service of non-violence, of course’. Lead Andrew Garfield ‘boasts lovely chemistry with just about every actor onscreen – this is particularly touching in some early scenes with Teresa Palmer, playing Doss’s hometown sweetheart Dorothy’. In her full ☆☆☆ review, Hope summarises with ‘these sequences are breathtakingly choreographed, as full of energy and clarity as they are human entrails. If you’re looking for an opportunity to satisfy your bloodlust while also celebrating pacifism, well, Gibson’s got you covered’.

CHRISTINE – dir. Antonio Campos

Hope Madden begins her review by pointing out a moment in the film, ‘when a violently depressed Christine chastises her mother’s parenting’. This moment is expanded throughout the film, ‘there such honest, bewildered frustration in that moment. With that single thought, a career-best Rebecca Hall exposes Chubbuck’s isolated, lonely, crippled soul’. Rebecca Hall’s ‘body language, her gait, her facial expressions and her speech amplify her character’s growing turmoil. It’s a creeping darkness that grows to be almost unbearable before bursting into an eye-of-the-storm calm that’s even eerier for its realism’. Though ‘Craig Shilowich’s screenplay leans too heavily on frustrated spinsterisms as a handy excuse for Chubbuck’s behavior, and Campos’s direction intentionally keeps Christine at arm’s length, Hall’s harrowing turn guarantees that Christine Chubbuck makes an impression’. In her full ☆☆☆1/2 review, Hope states that the ‘filmmakers showed a great deal while exploring very little, but thanks to a performance likely to be remembered come awards season, Rebecca Hall makes sure Chubbuck’s struggle resonates’.

FILM OF THE WEEK: CHRISTINE

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