James Mottram

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Latest articles from James Mottram

The Old Oak review: If this is Ken Loach's last film, it's a fitting way to bow out

The Old Oak marks the latest – and quite possibly last – feature from veteran firebrand Ken Loach. Scripted by Paul Laverty, his regular Scottish scribe, in what is their 14th collaboration, it’s another highly-charged drama that completes a loose trilogy with Loach’s last two films, the Cannes-winning I, Daniel Blake (2016) and Sorry We Missed You (2019).

Cannes Film Festival: It’s a wrap- 10 highlights

The 76th Cannes Film Festival comes to an end on Saturday after 12 days of cinematic treats. While the jury will tonight reveal who is the winner of the Palme d’Or, in the meantime, here are 10 films that premiered in the festival and will be heading to UK cinemas or festivals in the coming months.

Cannes Film Festival: Johnny Depp makes a return to the spotlight

What’s the French for ‘stellar’? That’s one way of describing this year’s line-up at the Cannes Film Festival. The 76th edition of the world’s most famous cinematic gathering has archaeologists, asteroids and Almodóvar and that’s just scratching the surface. In an era when streaming is king and the multiplexes are struggling in the wake of the pandemic, it’s reassuring to see that Cannes can still pull out the movie world’s big guns.This year’s festival opens on Tuesday May 16 with Jeanne du Barry, a French period drama about the last official mistress of King Louis XV. Directed by Maïwenn, who plays the title role, it co-stars Johnny Depp as the monarch. Nothing like a bit of controversy to start the festival then, given Depp’s career implosion following the notorious high-profile courtroom saga with his ex-wife Amber Heard. “The movie isn’t about Johnny Depp,” shrugged the festival’s artistic director Thierry Fremaux recently, seemingly unconcerned.No sooner will Depp have shuffled off the red carpet then Harrison Ford will be gracing it for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. This is the 80-year-old Ford’s last hurrah in one of his most famous roles, the intrepid, whip-cracking archaeologist. This time around, it’s set in the 1960s, with the Space Race the backdrop. Of course there are Nazis involved. And British Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge is along for the ride, playing Indy’s goddaughter Helena Shaw. You can expect a few lumps in the throat when that famous John Williams score pipes up.Space, of sorts, will also be a theme in Wes Anderson’s latest film Asteroid City, which will play in competition – one of 21 films vying for Cannes’ top prize, the Palme d’Or. Set in 1955, around the Junior Stargazer convention, this looks like a companion piece to his earlier scouting tale Moonrise Kingdom, which opened Cannes back in 2012. This has an aptly starry cast – including Tom Hanks, Scarlett Johannsson, Margot Robbie and, of course, Scotland’s own Tilda Swinton, who marks her fifth film with Anderson.

Review: Bruce film puts Braveheart myth to the sword

A major new movie directed by acclaimed Scots director David Mackenzie takes a fresh look at the life of Robert the Bruce. JAMES MOTTRAM delivers his verdict following last night’s premiere of Outlaw King at the London Film Festival.