Today marks one of the busiest release dates in Irish cinemas this year, with no less than 10 films being released today. In case you’re wondering why this week has gotten so crowded look no further than Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which opens next Friday against just two competitors. So with a release week this crowded just what films are worthy of your time?
Movie of the Week: Frozen
Disney’s latest animated fairytale centres on a young dreamer named Anna who teams up with “a daring mountain man” to find the Snow Queen and put an end to a spell that has trapped their kingdom in eternal winter. The film is a joy for all ages, getting 5 stars from ourselves, The Movie Bit and Donald Clarke at The Irish Times, and 4 from Entertainment.ie and our friend Brogen Hayes. With beautiful visuals, a great story, and wonderful songs this is a real winter warmer.
Frozen is out in cinemas nationwide.
Worthy of attention: Nebraska
The latest film from Sideways and The Descendants director Alexander Payne sees Bruce Dern as a man who travels with his son to Nebraska in the belief that he has won money. Along the way he meets friends, relatives and acquaintances who all want a piece of the action. Sadly we have not yet had a chance to review this one, but it has gotten 4 stars from The Irish Independent, Entertainment.ie, and Brogen Hayes.
Nebraska is out in a limited number of cinemas.
Seek it out: Fanny
The second part of French director Danny Auteuil’s Marseille trilogy, which begins with Marius (also out today), Fanny is the story a girl who pines for her lover, who recently left on a five-year voyage around the South Seas. Entertainment.ie gives the film 3.5 stars, calling it “never short of entertaining”, while Tara Brady in The Irish Times plumps for 3.
Fanny is playing exclusively in Screen Cinema Dublin.
Seek it out: The Swell Season
The Swell Season tells the behind the scenes, true story, of the events following the Academy Award win for the film Once and the strain touring together put on the romance between the Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglová. With 3.5 stars from both Entertainment.ie and State., this is worth seeking out for those who loved Once,a nd those who love strong Irish documentaries.
The Swell Season is playing IFI Dublin, and select cinemas nationwide.
Mixed Bag: Just a Sigh
Gabriel Byrne stars in this strangers on a train story set in France. Critical reaction is mixed with Harry Guerin at RTÉ Ten gives it 4 stars, Donald Clarke gives it 3, while Entertainment.ie gives it 2.
Just a Sighis playing exclusively at IFI Dublin.
Mixed Bag: Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s
A documentary on the Manhattan department store with interviews from an array of fashion designers, style icons, and celebrities. The film gets 4 stars in The Irish Times and 2.5 from Entertainment.ie.
Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s is showing exclusively in Lighthouse Cinema Dublin, and can be streamed from Volta.
Also Ran: Kill Your Darlings
Based on the true story of the murder of David Kammerer by Lucien Carr in 1944, which draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, Kill Your Darlings has all the hallmarks of a great movie. Sadly with 2 stars from Brogen Hayes and Entertainment.ie this does not appear to be the case.
Kill Your Darlings is out in a limited number of cinemas.
Also Ran: Marius
The first part of Danny Auteuil’s Marseille trilogy, the story of Raphael Personnaz’s Marius, a man half in love with the sea and half with a girl called Fanny, only garners 2 stars from Entertainment.ie, but does get 3 from Tara Brady in The Irish Times.
Marius is playing exclusively in Screen Cinema Dublin.
Also Ran: Oldboy
Spike Lee’s reimagining of the manga comic is not to be confused with Chan-wook Park’s brilliant 2003 version. The new version stars Josh Brolin as a man who after being kidnapped and held captive for 20 years with no explanation is suddenly set free and seeks revenge on his captors. Most reviews highlight the difference in class between the Korean film and Lee’s new one, with our own Philip Bagnall giving the film 2 stars. Irish critical consensus is with Philip, with 2 star reviews coming from Brogen Hayes and 2.5 from Entertainment.ie.
Oldboy is out nationwide.
Probably Avoid: Black Nativity
The film follows a street-wise teen from Baltimore who has been raised by a single mother travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives, where he embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey. With 1.5 stars from Entertainment.ie and 1 star from Brogen Hayes this is probably one to skip.
Black Nativity is out in a limited number of cinemas.
Probably Avoid: Getaway
The film focuses on a former race car driver who robs a car and teams up with a young hacker in a race against time to save his wife from a mysterious kidnapper. Again we don’t have a review yet, but Movies.ie give the film 2 stars with Entertainment.ie giving it 1.
Getaway is out nationwide.
Unknown Quantity: Homefront
Jason Statham stars as a low level DEA agent who sees his quiet family life turned upside down when his path crosses with a band of drug traffickers. The film did not screen for critics, but if you like Staham you should probably check this out.
Homefront is out in cinemas nationwide.