Straw Dogs (18)
Starring: James Marsden, Kate Bosworth
Forty years after Sam Peckinpah's home-invasion thriller prompted howls of outrage, Straw Dogs gets a remake that is, amazingly, very impressive.
Amazing because a) it wasn't that great in the first place, and b) sexual politics have moved on notably since 1971. Relocating from the original's Cornwall to the Southern backwoods, post-Katrina, it stars Kate Bosworth as a returning native and James Marsden as her new husband. They're outsiders from the off – she's a TV actress, he's a screenwriter – in a town whose priorities are God, beer and hunting, not necessarily in that order. The director Rod Lurie plots the build-up of class tension and sexual menace with nice restraint, pitting a bunch of redneck roofers against the affluent out-of-towners, one of the good ole boys being Bosworth's ex (Alexander Skarsgård) for good measure. The crisis of masculinity afflicting the protagonist of Peckinpah's film (Dustin Hoffman was a speccy mathematician) is taken on, and actually improved, in Marsden's creditable performance, while Bosworth fares infinitely better than poor Susan George. An unnecessary remake – most of them are – but not short of subtlety or excitement.
Look beyond the usual shows for the best festive telly
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
The battle for control of Stieg Larsson's £30m legacy
Geoffrey Macnab does not like the comedian's big screen debut
Arts & Ents blogs
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Tom Daley ‘is gay because his father died’ says UK evangelist
Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
Anachronistic and iniquitous, grammar schools are a blot on the British education system
- 1 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 2 Christmas comes early: Justin Bieber is 'retiring from music'
- 3 Iain Duncan Smith leaves Commons food banks debate early
- 4 Cycle death inquest: Boyfriend hugs driver of 32 tonne tipper truck that killed his girlfriend
- 5 Burglar steals video tapes of child abuse, hands them into police
- < Previous
- Next >