Films of the week: Animated delight comes as manna from the heavens
Friday 18 October 2013
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
4.20pm Channel 5
(Phil Lord, Chris Miller, 2009) This riotous, action-packed, joke-stuffed and candy-coloured spectacle, expanded from a 1978 US children's book about a young inventor who makes food rain from the sky, is the only digitally animated feature of recent years with the wit, invention and richness of characterisation to rival the best of the Pixar studio's output. Hilarious. Featuring the voices of Bill Hader and Anna Faris. *****
Shall We Dance?
(Mark Sandrich, 1937) In their seventh and most lavish film together, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers play a ballet dancer and a tap-dancer who marry as a publicity stunt, long before falling in love for real. There are many distracting plot complications, but everything becomes effortless and simple when they dance. The Gershwins' future standards include "They Can't Take That Away from Me". ****
(James L Brooks, 1987) Holly Hunter's driven television news producer, William Hurt's telegenic presenter and Albert Brooks's aggrieved reporter form the three sides of a love triangle in this droll romantic comedy. Each of them is complicated but rounded; the film is convincing in all its behind-the-scenes detail, and takes a well-aimed swipe at what it perceives as declining journalistic standards. *****
A Simple Plan
(Sam Raimi, 1998) Three friends stumble across a big stash of money amid the snow of a Minnesotan winter, and make the understandable mistake of deciding to keep it for themselves. But, unlike these wholly believable characters, neither this thriller's director, Sam Raimi, nor the actors – Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda – make a single misstep. ****
(Richard Ayoade, 2010) A coming-of-age comedy about a 16-year-old Welsh schoolboy navigating his uncertainty about the future, the state of his parents' marriage, and his feelings for his first ever girlfriend, who has eczema and "enjoys bullying in moderation". It's got a deadpan manner, a richly detailed, highly organised visual style and all kinds of literary and cinematic flourishes. Craig Roberts stars. ****
Everything Must Go
(Dan Rush, 2010) Will Ferrell plays a recovering alcoholic who, on the same day that he loses his job, finds that his wife has changed the locks to their suburban home and dumped all of his possessions outside. No doubt having some kind of breakdown, he settles down to live on the lawn, amid the detritus of his life so far. Based on the Raymond Carver story "Why Don't You Dance". Laura Dern also stars. ***
1.05am Channel 4
(Scott Cooper, 2009) Bad Blake is an alcoholic, 59-year-old faded country-and-western star who continues to ply his trade in small bars in America's heartland, but knows he won't get many more chances at redemption after the one offered by his latest conquest (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Jeff Bridges deserved the Oscar he was finally given, for making him such a whole and credible character. ****
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors: 'I think as far as coloured actors go it gets really difficult in the UK'
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Photographer Matt Lankes' portraits of the cast of Boyhood influenced the film's storyline
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners