5 to See: This Weekend

This weekend ASFF selects five films from around the world that are set for release in UK cinemas. Hailing from Britain, France, Italy and America, these movies range from comedy and satire to action-adventure and drama, as big themes from hatred and love to grief and tragedy are woven throughout.  

Jojo Rabbit (The Walt Disney Company)

New Zealand writer-director-actor Taika Waititi delivers a risky comedy in the shape of this adaptation of Christine Leunens’ novel. British Golden Globe-nominated newcomer Roman Griffin Davis plays Jojo – cruelly nicknamed ‘Jojo Rabbit’ by the others boys in the Hitler Youth camp he attends – who spends his alone-time talking to an imaginary Adolf Hitler (Waititi). Co-starring Rebel Wilson, Stephen Merchant and Scarlett Johnasson, as Jojo’s mother, this is a love-it-or-hate-it film that will divide people on whether Waititi’s humour is on-the-nose or way, way off.

The Gentlemen (Entertainment)

Guy Ritchie returns to the terrain of his early works like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, with this laddish crime yarn starring Matthew McConaughey as a high-end marijuana dealer whose plans to sell off his lucrative business go awry. Scripted with more swear words than just about anything this side of The Irishman, it’s filled with Ritchie’s usual blend of bloodshed, violence and cocky humour, though an appearance by Hugh Grant as a grubby tabloid-friendly private eye is a highlight.

La Dolce Vita (BFI Distribution)

To celebrate the centenary of Italian director Federico Fellini’s birth, the BFI are running tribute screenings as well as re-releasing his 1960 Cannes-winning masterpiece, La Dolce Vita. Set in the heart of Rome, Marcello Mastroianni is the gossip journalist who spends seven days and nights soul-searching, as well as swooning for Anita Ekberg’s American star. One of the most important Italian films ever made, don’t miss the chance to soak up all its glory on the big screen again.

Amanda (Curzon)

Set in Paris, a city that has known its fair share of terrorist-related tragedy, Amanda explores the painful aftermath of a horrifying event, after a mass-shooting in one of the parks. Writer-director Mikhaël Hers imagines a situation whereby young man David (Vincent Lacoste) must look after his 7 year-old niece Amanda (Isaure Multrier) following the murder of her mother. How we process such grief in the wake of such horror becomes the centerpiece of Hers’ quietly envisioned drama. Stacy Martin co-stars.

In The Line of Duty (Signature Entertainment)

Not to be confused with the BBC’s long-running popular Line of Duty, Aaron Eckhart stars in this action thriller from director Steven C Miller and writer Jeremy Drysdale, who previously penned the excellent indie hit Grand Theft Parsons. Eckhart plays Detective Frank Penny, a shoot-first-ask-questions-later cop. He becomes embroiled in a race against time to find a hostage before she dies after bumping off the kidnapper before discovering the whereabouts of his victim.

All films released by 3 January.

James Mottram

1. Still from
2 Still from The Gentlemen.
3. Still from Amanda.