Movies reviewed this week: Silence, Live By Night, Split and Long View: Rock Dog (voiced by: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard).
You would have thought Martin Scorsese might have thought twice about taking on religion again.
His The Last Temptation Of Christ got a decidedly mixed bag of reviews on its release 30-odd years ago.
But you can’t keep a good man down, as they say. With this, Scorsese has plundered the depths of his talent and come up with another masterpiece,
In 17th century Japan, two Jesuit priests Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Garupe (Adam Driver) are on a mission to find and rescue their mentor, Father Forreira (Liam Neeson), at a time when their religion is outlawed, on pain of death.
But the two canny clergymen refuse to believe their mentor has renounced their religion, and embark on a journey where their faith in their faith is sorely tested.
Scorsese (who once trained for the priesthood) has wanted to make this film for years, apparently. It’s clearly a film with a message and tackles questions about faith, sacrifice and our very existence.
However, it has been worth the wait. Its superb performances, rigorous craftsmanship and stunning cinematography make this the latest jewel on Scorsese’s unmatchable CV.
Andrew Garfield, already on a roll from his Oscar-nominated success in Hacksaw Ridge turns in a nuanced performance that should propel him onto Hollywood’s A-list while Neeson does what he does best i.e. dominate the screen.
It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. An epic movie? Yes, but epic movies can often be a tad long and just a little bit dull in places. So it is with this beautiful, brutal film.
Review by Kevin McIndoe
Live by Night
When Jo Coughlin (Ben Affleck) returns to Boston from fighting in the Great War, he’s not exactly up for holding down a nine-to-five job. After deciding that robbing banks is an easier way to make a living he gets caught up in a world of rival mobsters while falling in love with Emma, a gangster’s moll (Sienna Miller). And to top it off, his dad is long-suffering police chief Thomas Coughlin (Brendan Gleeson) who is torn between the law and his wayward son. Cue plenty of car chases and shoot-outs in Prohibition-era America. Despite showy sets and costumes, this thriller is a bit on the bland side but Affleck fans will enjoy it.
When three girls are kidnapped by a man with 23 different personalities, their escape plan is not going to be straightforward. James McAvoy plays the multi-faceted man, called Kevin (or Hedwig or Patricia, etc), and the girls, led by Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) will need to talk about Kevin, and which one of his personalities is going to help or hinder them. They will also have to work it out before he develops a 24th. McAvoy is brilliant in this: spellbinding, chilling and disturbing; all at the same time, as he changes personae from maladjusted “Patricia” to the innocent nine-year-old boy Hedwig. Gripping stuff.
Tibetan mastiff Bodi (voiced by Luke Wilson) has set his sights on becoming a rock star after a radio falls mysteriously out of the sky. While his quest for stardom sets him on a path of discovery it also opens up a whole can of worms, not least of which is: who will mind the sheep in his mountain village while he’s off to the city in search of the big time? When beanie-wearing Bodi meets Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard), a cat with attitude, he finds the road to fame and fortune more arduous than he thought. With a score that includes some catchy songs, it’s a bright enough effort that the kids will enjoy.
Oman release date: February 23