Writing a classic novel: it’s easier than you think!
From Becoming Jane to The Man Who Invented Christmas, the literary origin story has become a big screen staple in recent years, with this week’s Emily Brontë biopic being the latest example – but I’ll admit to a certain kneejerk dislike of this particular sub-genre.
It’s partly the sense of a cash cow being mercilessly milked, but more the way these films seem to imply that all the author had to do was step out of their front door and they’d be tripping up over convenient sources of inspiration for their most famous works.
That said, I’ve got high hopes for my own forthcoming masterwork Pint of Milk and a Ginster’s, inspired by my recent trip to a Sainsbury’s Local…
Sex Education’s Emma Mackey stars as Emily Brontë in this biopic of the Wuthering Heights author.
The film portrays Emily’s complex relationship with sisters Charlotte (Alexandra Dowling) and Anne (Amelia Gething) and their wayward brother Branwell (Fionn Whitehead) – while passions simmer when she meets curate William Weightman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen).
Purists may balk at this latter component, which there is little to no biographical basis for – but positive reviews indicate that actor-turned-director Frances O’Connor (who took the lead role in the 1999 Jane Austen adaptation Mansfield Park) has created an evocative portrait which is true to the spirit of the author and the brooding, elemental romance which she bequeathed to the world.
Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
A family finds that their new home has a surprising occupant in this musical children’s comedy, adapted from a popular series of US children’s books.
When the Primm family move into their new house in Manhattan, they are shocked to discover an all-singing, all-dancing crocodile by the name of Lyle (voiced by Shawn Mendes) living in the attic.
In true Paddington style, the cold-blooded but warm-hearted reptile is soon changing the family’s life for the better – but when nasty neighbour Mr. Grumps (Stranger Things’ Brett Gelman) sets Lyle in his sights, the Primms band together with the croc’s charismatic showman owner Hector P. Valenti (Javier Bardem) to save him.
While you might be forgiven for doubting the sincerity of that title in this reboot-heavy age, this latest instalment of the long-running horror franchise does at least promise to wrap up the new trilogy begun with 2018’s Halloween and continued with last year’s Halloween Kills.
Billed as ‘Laurie Strode’s last stand’, the film sees Jamie Lee Curtis’ battle-hardened heroine tool up for one more round with her heavy-breathing, mask-wearing nemesis Michael Myers.
Four years on from the events of Halloween Kills, Laurie is living with her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) and writing her memoir – which ought to be quite the read – but when a local youngster is accused of killing the boy he was babysitting, it triggers a chain of events which brings Laurie face to face with her implacable foe for one final, epic showdown.
This week’s big rerelease comes courtesy of Kiefer Sutherland and co, who are celebrating 35 years since The Lost Boys first terrorised the good folk of Santa Carla – you can catch this most 80s-tastic of vampire films at Vue on Sat 15th and Mon 17th, and Cineworld on Mon 17th.
Vue also have a few more screenings of 90s comedy Hocus Pocus on Sat 15th, Sun 16th and Tues 18th.
Meanwhile, City Screen are resurrecting a groundbreaking horror classic in the form of the original Night of the Living Dead on Sun 16th, while on Tues 18th there’s another chance to see the recent Finnish body horror Hatching.
There’s good news for fans of South Korean director Park Chan-wook, as his eagerly-anticipated new film Decision to Leave starts showing early at City Screen this week, ahead of its general release on Fri 21st.
You can catch a preview screening on Sat 15th, followed by daily screenings from Mon 17th.
Don’t go expecting the blood-soaked carnage of his breakout hit Oldboy here, though – this slow-burn tale of the relationship between a detective and the wife of a murder victim is part film noir and part love story.
City Screen are also showing Martin McDonagh’s 2008 hit In Bruges on Mon 17th, ahead of the director’s reunion with stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Inisherin next week.
If you like watching the wealthy, out-of-touch elite having a supremely awful time of it and you couldn’t make it to the Tory conference last week, then Vue have the next best thing on Weds 19th with a preview of Triangle of Sadness – the latest film from acclaimed Swedish director Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure, The Square) sees things go from bad to worse on a luxury cruise for the super-rich.
A lumbering ogre with distinctive ears and a tendency to put his foot in his mouth gets to grips with life on the throne in Shrek the Third in City Screen’s Kids’ Club on Sat 15th, followed by an Autism-Friendly screening of 2019 adventure Abominable on Sun 16th (tickets £3.00 for both).
Lightyear is once again Cineworld’s Movies For Juniors offering (Sat 15th, Sun 16th, £2.50), while Vue have another outing for Bing and his Friends at the Cinema (Sat 15th, Sun 16th, £2.49).
And finally, fans of prog rockers King Crimson may want to head down to Everyman on Weds 19th for a screening of new documentary In the Court of the Crimson King, made to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary – although maybe they’ll find themselves jostling for space with a new generation of fans who’ve turned up hoping for more of Robert Fripp’s hit lockdown videos with wife Toyah Wilcox. Here they are to play us out with a special guest…