I know the Internet is rife with spoof trailers for imaginary Wes Anderson superhero films and the like, but I think I might just have hit on the ultimate ‘What if Wes Anderson made…’ scenario.
What if Wes Anderson made…EastEnders?
Imagine it! They do it all in secret, no publicity, then for one wondrous night you switch on your telly and find Albert Square recast in a glorious array of pastel colours, its suddenly immaculately tailored residents no longer shouting at each other but instead trading a succession of endlessly quotable staccato one-liners.
The camera pans past the symmetrically arranged produce on Martin’s fruit and veg stall and into the Vic, where a punter who looks suspiciously like Bill Murray dolefully orders a pint as an obscure 60s pop tune unaccountably plays on the jukebox…
That’s it, I’ll have the Kickstarter campaign up and running by tomorrow – but for now we can enjoy the director’s latest meticulously crafted opus Asteroid City.
Plus, the return of Jennifer Lawrence in No Hard Feelings and a piece of cycle heaven courtesy of The Last Rider…
Following Jordan Peele’s Nope last year, it’s Wes Anderson’s turn to look to the skies in this Close Encounters-inflected comic tale of strange goings-on in a remote desert town.
Set in the 1950s, the plot sees recently widowed photographer Augie (Jason Schwartzman) find himself and his four young children stranded in the eponymous locale after their car breaks down.
Their unplanned stop-over coincides with the area’s annual Junior Stargazer/Space Cadet convention – an event which this year finds itself unexpectedly hosting some visitors from somewhat further out of town…
Just perusing the cast list for this one is a form of stargazing in itself, with Margot Robbie, Tom Hanks and Maya Hawke among those making their debuts in Andersonland here, alongside regular collaborators including Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and Adrien Brody.
No Hard Feelings
Jennifer Lawrence stars in this American Pie-esque comedy as a woman paid by a mum and dad to seduce their awkward teenage son.
Desperate for income after her car is repossessed, Uber driver Maddie (Lawrence) answers an advert from a pair of anxious helicopter parents looking for someone to ‘date’ (as they euphemistically refer to it) their profoundly unworldly son before he heads off to college.
When the hapless Percy (Andrew Barth Feldman) remains blithely oblivious to her advances, Maddie realises she has her work cut out in this raunchy romcom from director Gene Stupnitsky (who mined a similar seam of bad-taste humour in 2019’s Good Boys).
The Last Rider
With this year’s jostle for the yellow jersey just a week away from starting, this well-timed documentary release looks back at the 1989 Tour de France and the inspiring story of American cyclist Greg LeMond.
Having become the first non-European professional to win the Tour de France in 1986, LeMond faced down a series of traumatic setbacks to re-enter the competition three years later, and the result was one of the tournament’s most celebrated races.
Director Alex Holmes (who brought another underdog story to the screen in 2018’s Whitbread Race doc Maiden) blends new interviews with archive footage of the race to tell the tale of a classic sporting comeback.
|Cert 12A, 101 mins|
|From Fri Jun 23|
Other new releases and previews
Screening for one night only ahead of its Netflix release, music doc Wham! charts the meteoric rise of school friends turned superstars George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley – head to Everyman and Vue on Tues 27th for a night of 80s nostalgia and premium pop.
As the UK celebrates 75 years since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush on 22nd June 1948, new documentary Barrel Children (City Screen, Sun 25th) tells the stories of the Caribbean youngsters who grew up away from their parents before migrating to join them in Britain.
Mark Rylance stars in Forest of Dean-set British folk horror Inland, which is Vue’s latest BFI Presents screening (Mon 26th), while City Screen have a preview of Mother & Son on Tues 27th – this acclaimed French drama from director Léonor Serraille (Jeune Femme) follows the fortunes of an immigrant family in Paris.
Showing at Vue from Sat 24th to Tues 27th, Christian period drama Jesus Revolution follows the birth of the evangelical movement in 70s California – Joel Courtney (of Netflix hit The Kissing Booth) stars.
Pixar fans will certainly be singing “Hallelujah!” at Disney’s decision to release the animation masters’ latest film in actual cinemas – and if you’re under 25, you can catch a preview of the eagerly-anticipated Elemental at City Screen on Tues 26th.
There are also a few more chances to catch Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s one-woman performance of Fleabag at City Screen (Mon 26th, plus matinees on Tues 27th and Thurs 29th) and Everyman (Mon 26th), while ballet fans can enjoy Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty at City Screen and Vue on Weds 28th.
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish buckles a swash as Vue’s budget screening this week, with screenings on Sat 24th and Sun 25th, plus two Autism-Friendly screenings on Sun 25th (tickets £2.49 for all).
Over at Cineworld, My Fairy Troublemaker and Mummies are your Movies For Juniors offerings (both showing on Sat 24th and Sun 25th, £2.50), while City Screen’s Kids’ Club continues its run of Pixar classics with Wall-E on Sat 24th (£3.30).
Cult horror, Pride Month classics and the start of a beautiful friendship: old favourites back on the big screen
With gore hounds’ jaws already slavering at the prospect of this year’s Dead Northern Horror Festival (returning to York in September), this week sees the fest’s programmers launch a new regular series of cult horror classics at City Screen in the form of the Nasty Video Club.
Celebrating the darker and grittier side of the genre – including those titles subject to the infamous ‘video nasty’ ban of the 1980s – the monthly series kicks off on Fri 23rd with a screening of controversial revenge tale I Spit on Your Grave.
Altogether more wholesome fare is on offer elsewhere as Casablanca returns to Vue on Sun 25th, Tues 27th and Thurs 29th, while City Screen’s You Should Be Dancing season continues on Sun 25th with classic 1963 musical Bye Bye Birdie, a story inspired by Elvis Presley’s drafting into the army and starring a pre-Chim-Chimenee Dick Van Dyke in his big screen debut.
There’s more singing and dancing at City Screen on Mon 26th when Fred and Ginger step out once again in Top Hat, which is this month’s Dementia-Friendly Screening.
Not to be outdone, Dominic West showcases some impressive table-dancing in rousing British comedy-drama Pride, showing at Vue on Fri 23rd and Sat 24th as part of their series of LGBTQ+ classics to celebrate Pride Month – there are also screenings of 1996 Robin Williams favourite The Birdcage on Sat 24th and Sun 25th.
Over at Cineworld, you can catch modern coming-of-age classic Moonlight on Sat 24th as part of their Pride season, while Everyman hit the Outback in style with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in their regular Throwback strand on Sun 25th and Tues 27th.
And finally, City Screen’s countdown of the Sight and Sound Top 10 films of all time arrives at number seven with Claire Denis’ mesmerising 1999 drama Beau Travail, a tale of destructive jealousy amongst soldiers in the French Foreign Legion which contains almost as much simmering homoerotic tension as Top Gun, and the best 90s pop-inspired dance sequence this side of Whigfield. Sign yourself up at City Screen on Sat 24th.