Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (UK/France)
Director Tomas Alfredson Cast Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy Plot An agent is forced out of retirement when a Soviet mole is discovered in the MI6. Why watch? Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is directed by Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson, the guy behind the artsy vampire flick, Let the Right One In (2008). First impression Impeccable. First rate thriller for the thinking man.
Shame (UK)Director Steve McQueen Cast Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, Nicole Beharie Plot A rabid nympho goes bonkers when his rebel sister shows up. First Impression Dark. Disturbing. Edgy. Expect a seamless screenplay by McQueen and stirring images by frequent collaborator, Sean Bobbitt (Hunger).
Director Roman Polanski Cast Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz Plot Sparks fly when two sets of parents do a meet and greet. What's the 411? The film is based on Yasmina Reza's play, God of Carnage. X-factor Kate Winslet. This woman has spunk. Memorable line "I'm glad our son kicked the shit out of your son! I wipe my ass with your human rights!" First impression A fine balance of good direction and superb acting; memorable
Director Yorgos Lanthimos Cast Aris Servetalis, Johnny Vekris, Aggeliki Papoulia Plot While Dogtooth (2009) is about deception through fabrication, Alps is its antithesis. Go figure. What's the 411? The script wasn't followed rigidly during filming. New scenes were added and actors improvised occasionally. Why watch? It's been two long years since Dogtooth. We want a Yorgos Lanthimos movie. Now. First impression Right balance of quirk, humor and art cred; sly and disarming
Wuthering Heights (UK)
Director Andrea Arnold Cast Kaya Scodelario, Nichola Burley, James Howson Plot A retelling of Emily Brontë's classic novel of love gone wrong. Why watch? It's not everyday that we see a gritty, contemporary filmmaker do a romantic period drama. What's the 411? Michael Fassbender and Ed Westwick were among the actors considered for the role of Heathcliff. Arnold eventually broke conventions by settling for a colored actor (James Howson). First impression It looks believable, "real" and unrehearsed. It is never too sentimental. Thank God.