This weekend ASFF selects five new films – two features and three documentaries – from Britain and America. Largely, these are reflections on the past, from the trenches of World War I to 1960s Americana to 1980s global pop stardom, touching on everything from sibling rivalry to martial decay.
Actor Paul Dano makes his directorial debut with this assured adaptation of the novel by Richard Ford. Co-written with his off-screen partner Zoe Kazan, it tells of the dissolution of a 1960s marriage as seen through the eyes of a young boy, Joe (Ed Oxenbould), who watches as cracks form between his parents, Jeanette (Carey Mulligan) and Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal). Impressively rendered by Dano, it’s a subtle and moving portrait of early-life crisis.
Documentary Morgan Neville has two very different films out right now. The Orson Welles tale They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead is coming to Netflix, but this film about wholesome American children’s television presenter Fred Rogers is getting a cinema release. The man behind the PBS show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, a precursor to the likes of Sesame Street, Rogers’ life is the focus of this gentle tribute to a man who touched so many young lives.
After directing Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Peter Jackson has turned to real-world history with this film co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Imperial War Museums to commemorate the centenary anniversary of the end of the First World War. From the IWM archives, real footage shot in the trenches has been colourised and converted to 3D to show what life was like during the conflict in ways that have never been seen before. Also due to appear on BBC2, catch it on the big screen if you can.
Sibling filmmakers Jonathan and Josh Baker make their feature debut with this sci-fi tinged road movie in which an adopted 14 year-old boy named Eli (Myles Truitt) finds a futuristic-looking weapon in a warehouse that can blow holes in walls. Joining his ex-con older brother (Jack Reynor) for a walk on the wild side, the film also features Dennis Quaid as their father, Zoë Kravitz as an exotic dancer and James Franco as the villain of the piece.
Before there was Boyzone, Westlife and One Direction, there was Bros, a mega-boy band from the Eighties that caused hysteria all over the globe with their Number 1 album Push. This documentary charts their reunion, as brothers Matt and Luke Goss try and overcome their fractured relationship to perform some sell-out gigs at London’s 02. Directed by Joe Pearlman and David Soutar, it’ll likely leave you nostalgic for the era of ‘When Will I Be Famous?’
All films released on 9 November.