Saturday, February 7, 2015

Humans v Animals

Four films in 24 hours, three in the air, one on the ground, two about art, two about animals, the animals won out.
Mike Leigh's Mr Turner pulls no surprises. It's a decent film, made all the more so by Timothy Spall's title role performance, but somehow I couldn't quite connect the man with his paintings. It was like he was a character in a Dickens novel, a painter, but not really JMW Turner. Where was the verve & passion that must have gone into those extraordinary paintings? He seemed somehow removed. 
The Monuments Men was even less convincing, despite also being based on a true story. A motley bunch of art experts try to stop the theft and destruction of masterpieces at the tail-end of WW2, led by  George Clooney, Mat Damon and Hugh Bonneville (who should perhaps have been better off staying in Downton Abbey looking after the Gainsboroughs). It was like an elderly version of The Dirty Dozen
Bonneville also cropped up in Paddington, a film I was not really expecting to like, but it turned out OK. Like Wallace & Gromit with real people, except of course the Bear, the digital rendering of whom was beguilingly lifelike. Nicole Kidman's baddie (basically Cruella de Ville in a platinum blonde wig) gave the film a bit of edge. 

And finally Shaun the Sheep opened in London last night and I caught it in Leicester Square. The usual high quality Aardman fayre: eccentrically English which, on the face if it, you'd think would hinder its international appeal, but because there's no dialogue it may 'translate' globally - as Mr Bean did. 
So, Humans 0 Animals 2. And that's quite enough films for one day. 

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