Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke), the young couple we first met in 1995 (Before Sunrise) are now pushing 40. Richard Linklater brought them back in 2004 (Before Sunset) to roam the streets again and talk, talk, talk, in that rambling, funny but entirely believable way. This is the way couples relate and bullshit to each other, or so it seems…
Now they’re together, they have been for a while, in Greece on holiday, with kids and a broken marriage (Jesse’s) behind them, and we can see the scars of age. Not physical, these two are ageing the way only Hollywood actors do (ie. not at all) – and we do get to see quite a lot of Celine in one extended nude scene.
Jesse is jovial but glib, barely hiding the cynicism of male middle age with banter that is both telling and acute, while Celine seems brittle, resentful and all too ready to argue. When their fight does start it erupts with an astonishing fury. It’s one of the most realistic and shocking matrimonial scenes you will ever see. It may even break your heart, for we have grown to love this pair.
Will there be an After Sunrise in nine years time? We hope so.
MA15+ from July 18.
• Thanks to Hopscotch Films we have 10 double in-season passes to give away.
This Is The End
James Franco I get, but I’ve never quite understood the schlubby everydude appeal of Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. Both men are overweight, but it is the slender Franco – playing himself, as all the actors do in this very funny movie – who gets eaten.
He’s literally torn apart, something many of us have longed to do to Michael Cera – who is impaled by a road sign early on.
As the Apocalypse approaches, the boys retreat to Franco’s pad and behave very badly – penis jokes, an ejaculation contest and an erection the size of a No. 10 Metro bendy-bus. It belongs to the devil.
MA15+ from July 18
Only God Forgives
Nicolas Winding Refn’s (Drive) violent hyper-stylised revenge fantasy, set in the very bad back streets of Bangkok was the surprise winner of this year’s SFF Jury prize. Be brave (you’ll need to be) and give it go – it is hypnotically compelling.
Ryan Gosling plays Julian, a drug pusher whose psycho older brother brutally murders an underage prostitute. The brother is then killed by the girl’s father, who quickly suffers the same fate. The carnage in the streets attracts the attention of a sword-wielding detective (Vithaya Pansringarm), whose version of retributive justice involves slicing off limbs. The brother’s mum, a strutting peroxided blonde (a ferociously scary Kristen Scott Thomas) then turns up to sort things out, ridicule the size of her son’s penis and call his sort-of girlfriend (he pays to watch her to masturbate) a “cum dumpster.”
No wonder Julian is smouldering – something Gosling does very, very well – though surely this actor can’t take his camp, brooding macho act any further after this. His lips barely move from a contemptuous sneer throughout. Though he does get to mumble a few lines of dialogue – if “Wanna fight?” constitutes dialogue.
CTC (surely R18+!) from July 18
A Gun In Each Hand
The reputation of Spanish men (at least those of middle age) takes quite a battering in Cesc Gay’s star-studded ensemble piece.
A parade of hapless blokes identified only by an initial and played by some of the Spanish world’s most well known actors (Eduard Fernández, Ricardo Darin and Eduardo Noriega amongst others) line up to be skewered by their own words and actions in six beautifully crafted and sly vignettes, which all unfold more or less in real time.
It’s very funny and deadpan, but men will cringe. The women fare rather better – this is the perfect antidote for those Australian women left feeling bruised and angry about Julia Gillard’s fate. There are some nongs more pathetic than the men in this country. None of them wear a blue tie.
M15+ on now.