This weekend ASFF selects five new films from around the world that are set to open in UK cinemas. From a dance biography/documentary to a coming-of-age tale, a genre thriller, a Hollywood comedy and a homegrown feelgood drama, the range of what’s on offer is hugely diverse. Following your dreams, adolescent anxiety and breaking down racial barriers are among the themes explored.
Actor Jonah Hill makes his directorial debut with this sensitively-told adolescent drama, set around the skate parks of Los Angeles in – you guessed it – the mid-Nineties. The highly charismatic Sunny Suljic, who featured in The Killing of a Sacred Deer, takes the lead as Stevie, a 13 year-old with a troubled home-life who finds solace amongst a group of older skater teens. Filled with great sights and sounds, in a world where growing pains really do ache, this a highly impressive first feature from Hill.
Wild Rose (E1 Entertainment)
Rising Irish actress Jessie Buckley, who came to prominence in last year’s Beast, is spellbinding in Tom Harper’s feelgood drama about a Glasgow mother-of-two, Rose-Lynn, who emerges from a short stint in jail with dreams of becoming a country music star. Co-starring Julie Walters as her no-nonsense mother, this is Buckley’s show all the way; she’s sensational in the musical sequences and deeply affecting in the dramatic scenes, as a woman who selfishly, desperately, believes in her own path – even at the expense of her family.
The body-swap comedies are clearly back in vogue. Last week, we had Shazam!This week, it’s the turn of Little, although the conceit here sees the swapping in reverse. Girls Tripstar Regina Hall, soon to be seen in Andrew Bujalski’s more adult Support The Girls, plays Jordan Sanders, a woman whose adult life is becoming so stressful just at the point that she’s transformed into her younger self (played by Marsai Martin). Directed by Tina Gordon (Peeples), it seems all that’s missing is an appearance by Judge Reinhold (Vice Versa, anyone?)
Yuli – The Carlos Acosta Story (Modern Films)
Screenwriter Paul Laverty is best known for his extensive work with Ken Loach, but he’s also collaborated with his own wife, actress-director Icíar Bollaín, on films like The Olive Treeand Even The Rain. So they meet again for Yuli – The Carlos Acosta Story, which tells the story of the eponymous Cuban dancer, who rose from an impoverished upbringing to becoming one of the UK-based Royal Ballet’s most prominent dancers. Inspired by Acosta’s memoir, No Way Home: a Cuban Dancer’s Story, the film mixes real-life footage, archive and dramatized flashbacks.
The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then Bigfoot (Sparky Pictures)
Written, co-produced and directed by Robert Krzykowski, this film surely must win best title of the year. If nothing else, it also offers the chance to see the great Sam Elliott (lately seen nominated for an Oscar for Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born) take a rare leading role. He plays Calvin Barr, an unsung war hero who actually assassinated Hitler in an ultra hush-hush mission and now, years later, is enlisted to take down Bigfoot, before the creature spreads a deadly plague. Poldark’s Aidan Turner and the utterly brilliant Ron Livingston co-star.
All films released on 5 April.
Lead Image: Yuli – The Carlos Acosta Story.