Can you have too much of a good thing? When it comes to actors playing multiple roles in the same film, it very much depends on the actor and the role.
Alec Guinness gave a tour de force performance as nine different members of the D’Ascoyne clan in Kind Hearts and Coronets, while Peter Sellers’ triumvirate of turns in Dr. Strangelove is the stuff of cinematic legend.
On the other hand, audiences were 100% in agreement that Jack and Jill could have done with 50% less Adam Sandler.
Sitting at the classier end of that spectrum is new folk horror Men, which sees Jessie Buckley getting increasingly freaked out by a creepy array of locals who all look disturbingly like Rory Kinnear.
Plus, where better for a filmmaker couple to have a relationship crisis than the beautiful environs of Bergman Island?
“It’s the horror of rural England,” writer-director Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation) told Empire of his new and rather creepy-looking film. “It’s certain kinds of churches, certain kinds of forest – the shadows within dark green.”
It’s an evocative and enigmatic description which speaks to the director’s desire to let audiences find their own meanings in his folk horror tale, which sees Harper (Jessie Buckley) seek out a seemingly idyllic English countryside retreat as a place to recover from a personal tragedy.
However, she finds no escape from her trauma as a series of unsettling and sinister encounters with the local men of the village – all of them played by Rory Kinnear – take events in an increasingly nightmarish direction.
Reality and fiction become blurred in this romantic drama, which sees a married couple holidaying on the island of Fårö – famous as the home and frequent filming location of legendary director Ingmar Bergman.
Screenwriter Chris (Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread) and her successful horror director husband Tony (Tim Roth) are both hoping to find inspiration from the Swedish master as they work on their next projects – but as the summer progresses, they find it impossible to ignore their own real-life marital woes.
Mia Wasikowska (Crimson Peak) and Anders Danielsen Lie (seen recently in Norwegian hit The Worst Person in the World) play ex-lovers whose own story intertwines with that of the troubled filmmakers, in this acclaimed new release from French director Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden).
This in-depth look at the history of the iconic World War II bomber comes from the same team who made 2018’s Spitfire.
Archival footage is mixed in with clips of classic war films and new interviews with surviving crew members in this Charles Dance-narrated documentary.
As well as looking back at the famous Dambuster raids, the film doesn’t flinch from the more sobering and controversial aspects of the Lancaster’s history, as the interviewees reflect on the friends who never made it back, and discuss their feelings about the bombing of Dresden.
City Screen’s Ennio Morricone season offers a classic of the 1970s ‘New Hollywood’ cinema movement this week, in the form of Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (Sun 5th, Weds 8th).
Set in early 20th century Texas, the film follows the love triangle which develops when a Chicago couple on the run (Richard Gere and Brooke Adams) start working for a shy, rich farmer (Sam Shepard).
It’s another one of those films that overcame a troubled production process to become one of the most celebrated works of its era – hailed by many critics as one of the most beautiful films ever made – while Morricone’s score bagged him his first Oscar nomination.
A more recent critical hit shows at City Screen on Mon 6th in the form of 2012’s Amour – the latest in their Gaspar Noé Presents season, tying into the release of the director’s new film Vortex.
Like Vortex, director Michael Haneke’s powerful Oscar-winning drama follows an elderly Parisian couple dealing with the changes wrought by infirmity – in this case a paralysing stroke suffered by wife Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), whom husband Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) finds it increasingly challenging to look after.
Fans of slow cinema may want to take a leisurely amble over to City Screen on Tues 7th for Italian drama Il Buco (“The Hole”), a wordless, documentary-style recreation of the 1961 expedition to explore Europe’s deepest cave, deep in the Calabria region of Italy.
Meanwhile, as the threat of the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling being overturned in the US continues to make headlines across the world, City Screen are hosting a charity screening of highly acclaimed recent release Happening on Weds 8th – this 1960s-set French drama follows a young student’s desperate attempts to obtain an abortion at a time when they were illegal, and all proceeds from the screening will go to the Abortion Support Network.
Over at Everyman, there are a couple of chances to see director Terence Davies’ well-received new biopic of Siegfried Sassoon, with matinee screenings of Benediction on Tues 7th and Thurs 9th.
Michael Caine heads up north with vengeance in mind in 1971 classic Get Carter, showing at Vue in a swanky new 4K restoration from the BFI – director Mike Hodges’ gritty crime thriller screens on Fri 3rd and Tues 7th.
And from the rough to the super-smooth, Live and Let Die ushers in the Roger Moore era as Vue’s 007 season continues on Sat 4th – come for the theme tune, stay for the crocodile stepping stones scene.
And finally, as half-term draws to a close, there’s a few more screenings of Shrek 2 at Vue (Fri 3rd – Sun 5th), while your budget family-friendly offerings this week are forest adventure Boonie Bears: Back to Earth (Vue, Fri 3rd – Sun 5th, tickets £2.49), Paw Patrol: The Movie, showing with subtitles (City Screen, Sat 4th, £3.00), and the ever-popular Sing 2 (Cineworld, Fri 3rd – Sun 5th, £2.50).