Set in the late 1970s, two conmen, Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are caught red-handed in a loan scam by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper). With his sights set on bigger fish, DiMaso coerces the two into delivering more arrests. It’s a ploy that ultimately forces the charismatic duo into the dangerous and murky world of New Jersey’s mafia and corrupt politicians.
Bale’s transformation from his better-known on-screen persona of a gruff and blunt bat-eared superhero to an overweight conman is nothing short of staggering and has landed him an Oscar nomination this year for Best Actor in a Leading Role. But it’s just one of the many great performances delivered by the leading cast members of Cooper, Jeremy Renner, and Jennifer Lawrence, starring as Bale’s maverick wife. Amy Adams also receives an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. With another eight Oscar nominations, as well as incredibly high audience approval ratings, the director, David O. Russell, has delivered a slick and energetic story. And one that portrays the lengths some will go to in order to both survive and succeed.
Based on the 1983 novel of the same name by Mark Helprin, director Akiva Goldsman set about sculpting a true Valentine’s classic in keeping with its February 14 release date.
Colin Farrell plays Peter Lake, a cheeky rogue of a robber who breaks into a house only to end up falling in love with its young owner. But the wealthy heiress is dying of consumption and soon departs for the great beyond. Set in both present day and 1916 New York, Farrell learns that anything is possible, even the chance to save his former sweetheart. It’s an eclectic tale of love, magic, gangsters and guardian angels that’s sure to delight those looking for something a little different for this coming date night.
Three bridesmaids, including Kirsten Dunst meet up in the Big Apple to throw a Bachelorette party to remember for the bride-to-be, played by Rebecca Wilson. Flying into New York to celebrate, the four are soon on a rollercoaster of emotionally-fuelled shenanigans and misbehaviour. Stereoptypical characters abound in a weird mix of black comedy and slapstick that appears to be some sort of lame attempt to emulate the success of The Hangover. A poor immitation girls.
A shameless attempt to cash in on the Valentine’s cash cow brings a remake of the original 1981 movie back to the silver screen on February 13th. Alex Pettyfer plays David, a young man deeply in love with Jade (Gabriella Wilde). But a predictable romantic drama ensues when over-controlling parents attempt to keep the two young lovers apart.
An Indian action thriller set in the 1970’s, Gunday tells the story of two young boys, Bikram and Bala, finding their way in life. Based in Calcutta, the film follows the adventures of the two as they drift from refugees into being gun couriers and then coal bandits. Full of the usual Bollywood action and romance, there’s also an intriguing mix of comedy and serious moments that makes this a worthwhile watch. An absurdly toned Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor star in the lead roles, supported by the ravishing beauty of Priyanka Chopra.
Yes it’s time to dust off that DVD collection and pick out a smoochy-laden reel to get you in the Valentine’s mood. And what better classic than the desert-set tale of The English Patient?
While mapping parts of the Sahara, Count Laszlo de Almasy falls in love with Katharine Clifton (Kristin Scott Thomas), one of the financial backers of his expedition. But Clifton is married and her husband’s fury leaves Katharine fighting for her life while her lover, the Count, sets out across the desert on an ill-fated mission to save her.
Convalescing later with terrible burns following the ordeal, Fiennes’ character imparts the whole love story to his nurse who herself is embroiled in romance. While traces of tragedy tinge this drama from 1996, it’s also a testament to the ability of romantic memories to sustain an individual through their dying days.