Dir: Asghar Farhadi
With: Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini
Runtime: 118 minutes
ADMIRERS of Asghar Farhadi's drama A Separation, which won the Oscar last year for best foreign film, won't want to miss this earlier, equally excellent work from the Iranian writer-director.
A group of friends escape the heat of Tehran for a weekend by the sea. Joining them is newcomer Elly (Taraneh Alidoosti). Everything is going swimmingly, charades, volleyball and all, until an incident occurs. As in A Separation, Farhadi proves himself a master when it comes to generating gut-churning tension out of seemingly very little. Beautifully played by a cast which includes Peyman Moadi (the husband in A Separation), About Elly is gripping, intelligent drama which once again offers an enthralling insight into a largely hidden society.
Glasgow Film Theatre, and Cameo, Edinburgh, from tomorrow.
Hope Springs (12A)
Dir: David Frankel
With: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones
Runtime: 99 minutes
FILMMAKERS can pretty much push the envelope every which way in modern cinema, but one remaining taboo is showing anyone over 50 being in possession of a sex life.
To that extent, David Frankel's comedy is to be applauded. Otherwise, it's a clunky and occasionally excruciating watch as Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones play a married couple who don't sleep together any more and opt to see a therapist (played by Steve Carell). In its determination to let it all hang out, Hope Springs can't escape being patronising towards the age group it wants to court. Not for the first time, one finds oneself longing for the old days when the camera stopped at the bedroom door.
When the Lights Went Out (15)
Dir: Pat Holden
With: Kate Ashfield, Martin Compston
Runtime: 86 minutes
OOP north in Yorkshire, 1974, and a family is moving to a new council house. No sooner are they in the door than things start to go bump in the night. Pat Holden's chiller is a hokey effort but a decent cast, including Kate Ashfield (Shaun of the Dead), playing the mum, and Glasgow's Martin Compston, a teacher, keep things watchable. Holden puts a much-needed sense of humour into the haunted house mix.
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