In cinemas this week – A Most Violent Year, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Eastern Boys and That Sugar Film (March 1)
A Most Violent Year – Set during the winter of 1981 – statistically one of the most crime-ridden of New York City’s history – A Most Violent Year is a drama following the lives of an immigrant and his family as they attempt to capitalize on the American Dream, while the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. This is the new film from J.C Chandor (responsible for Margin Call and the amazing All is Lost) so you should be very interested. He is a terrific filmmaker, and this looks like another hefty project. Plenty of praise has come for the performances from Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain and Albert Brooks.
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel), and it’s making more claims on his time than he has available, considering his imminent marriage to the love of his life. Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful, has only a single remaining vacancy – posing a rooming predicament for fresh arrivals Guy (Richard Gere) and Lavinia (Tasmin Greig). Evelyn and Douglas (Judi Dench and Bill Nighy) have now joined the Jaipur workforce and are wondering where there regular dates will lead, while Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is newly installed co-manager of the hotel, Muriel (Maggie Smith), the keeper of everyone’s secrets. I quite enjoyed the first film, and it was such a hit with the elderly demographic that I can completely understand a sequel. I’ll get around to watching this – even if it is on DVD.
Eastern Boys – Arriving from all over the Eastern Bloc, the men who loiter around the Gare du Nord train station in Paris are scraping by however they can, forming gangs for support and protection, ever fearful of being caught by the police and deported. When the middle-aged, bourgeois Daniel played by Olivier Rabourdi approaches a boyishly handsome Ukrainian who calls himself Marek for a date, he learns the young man is willing to do anything for some cash. What Daniel intends only as sex-for-hire begets a home invasion and then an unexpectedly profound relationship. The drastically different circumstances of the two men’s lives reveal hidden facets of the city they share. Presented in four parts, this absorbing, erotically charged drama from writer-director Robin Campillo is centered around anonymous liaisons, in which motivation, risk, and desire produce volatile and unexpected consequences.
That Sugar Film – Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. Damon’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.
Weekly Recommendation: A strong week for sure, with nay an uninteresting film amongst them. I have my heart set on seeing A Most Violent Year this weekend, but I expect I will have to settle for the rest on DVD/VOD later in the year. If you enjoyed the first Marigold Hotel what’s to stop you seeing this. I wonder if it will beat its predecessor at the Box Office.