Movies about dysfunctional families are almost a sub-genre all their own, and this latest, written by Jim Strouse – Grace Is Gone (2007), People Places Things (2015) – and directed by actor John Krasinski, features a great cast (which includes the fabulous Margo Martindale), the kind of serio-comic situations that hide a variety of truths beneath the humour, and no doubt, a few life lessons along the way. The trailer focuses, unsurprisingly, on the more comedic elements of the script, but under Krasinski’s stewardship, this should still be a movie that touches the heart as well as the funny bone. Any movie that examines what it is to be part of a family should have a head start on our attention – we’ve all been there, right? – but The Hollars looks a little more smart in its approach, and that makes it a movie worth watching out for.
In the latest movie from Whiplash director Damien Chazelle, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play Sebastian, a jazz pianist, and Mia, an aspiring actress, who meet and fall in love against a backdrop of ambition and mounting success that threatens to tear their hard-fought-for relationship apart. The trailer acts as a mood piece, allowing us glimpses of the characters and the environments they work in, and tantalising peeks at the various genre elements – comedy, drama, romance,musicals – that Chazelle has utilised in order to tell their story. There are moments of visual wonder as well, with several beautifully framed and lit shots that are simply breathtaking. La La Land is likely to be a strong contender come awards season, but however it turns out, this is definitely one movie that at this stage, warrants an awful lot of anticipation.
A Monster Calls may appear to be a children’s tale, but Patrick Ness’s powerful novel, on which this is based (and which has been adapted by him), is a much darker fantasy than you’d expect, and it’s to the movie’s credit that the trailer doesn’t downplay this. Focusing on a young boy, Connor (played by newcomer Lewis MacDougall), who struggles with issues surrounding bullying, deep-rooted anger, and his mother’s battle with terminal cancer, this is as far from lighthearted stuff. Help though comes in the unexpected form of a monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) who like to tell stories – stories that help Connor deal with the problems he’s experiencing. Director J.A. Bayona has previously given us The Orphanage (2007) and The Impossible (2012), two movies with a strong visual style, and an equally strong focus on children overcoming difficult situations, so his involvement here is a good sign that one of the most impressive pieces of low fantasy fiction of recent years will be just as impressive on the big screen.