13 Jan

The New Year brings with it a comprehensive push from the studios of those films deemed likely contenders during awards season. Front runner The Artist snuck in just before Janus said goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012, but the first two weeks of the year will reward cinema goers with Meryl Streep’s uncanny Maggie Thatcher, Steve McQueen’s uncompromising tale of sex addiction and Spielberg’s equine adventure. All are expected to perform admirably.

A biopic of the divisive former PM, Margaret Thatcher, is understandably not everyone’s cup of tea. In fact, Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady has already courted controversy for the depiction of a frail Thatcher in the twilight of her life. Yet, whilst Streep has invited almost universal acclaim for her interpretation of said metallic lady, doubts remain about the glossy, woman succeeding against the odds, pathos of the surrounding narrative. A definite case of an actor carrying a picture.


Dismissed by some critics rather disparagingly as Snore Horse, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse is the film of the play of the novel. Following so far? This rather schmaltzy and sentimental tearjerker celebrates Joey the colt’s heroics on the battlefields of First World War ravaged Europe. A stellar cast, including the stupendously red hot Benedict Cumberbatch provide this fine filly (yes I know) with some filial favour.

And so onto Shame, a flawless and uncompromising picture that charts the empty exploits of sex addict Brandon (a superb Michael Fassbender- the man can do no wrong!). It’s a beautifully crafted and magnificently acted piece of work that is rightly receiving the plaudits it deserves. Carey Mulligan provides sparkling support as Brandon’s sassy sister Sissy. Sublime.

Ok, enough alliteration.

Seemingly unperturbed by the high brow competition, Russian sci-fi thriller- horror (is that enough genres?) The Darkest Hour pits the usually excellent Emile Hirsch against unseen electric aliens in Moscow. Sounds ludicrous? Well it probably is…

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