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Cinema Film round-up: June 30, 2022

Maria Duarte reviews The Princess, Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War, Wayfinder and Minions 2: The Rise of Gru

 

The Princess (12)
Directed by Ed Perkins
★★★★

THE life and death of Princess Diana is well documented, but for the first time her story is recounted solely through contemporaneous archival audio and video footage, giving the viewer a gripping yet intensely intimate and voyeuristic front row seat, as if it were unfolding today.

Although Ed Perkins’s documentary does not reveal anything new, it does question the intense scrutiny of the media, who had hounded her from the age of 19 until her demise in the Paris car crash, and the love and obsession of the British people with the Princess of Wales, which in turn fed the media’s never-ending appetite and need to pursue her.

Despite containing no interviews or hindsight reflection, the film provides an unflinching examination of Princess Diana’s life (including her fairytale-turned-toxic marriage) and the public’s response to it, while reflecting society at that time and how it questioned the role and the future of the monarchy.

It is harrowing to watch the events unfold again, ending in her shocking death and the extraordinary wave of grief and loss that swept the nation — unfathomable to comprehend today, almost 25 years on — while the camera turns to the viewer, asking them to consider their complicity in this tragic tale.

With Diana gone but never forgotten, it begs the question: should the monarchy end with the Queen?

MD

In cinemas

 

Eric Ravilious: Drawn to War (PG)
Directed by Margy Kinmonth
★★★

THE life and work of the underrated British war artist Eric Ravilious is celebrated in this completely captivating documentary, the first major feature film to be made about him.

His story is told in his own words (voiced by Freddie Fox), drawn from private correspondence and previously unseen archive footage.

It also features the voice of Tamsin Greig as Ravilious’s long-suffering wife, Tirzah.

Plus, it includes interviews with his family and some of his more notable admirers such as Ai Weiwei, Grayson Perry and the great Alan Bennett, who pay tribute to him and explain what a significant painter he was and what his art meant to them.

Set against the wartime locations that inspired him, writer-director Margy Kinmonth paints a visually compelling and gripping portrait of this enigmatic artist and father of three, who died at the age of 39 in a plane crash over Iceland in 1942.

It is a haunting film which finally gives this undervalued water colourist and landscape painter the recognition he deserves.

MD

In cinemas

 

Wayfinder (12A)
Directed by Larry Achiampong
★★★

SET during a pandemic, this film follows a young girl as she travels across England from north to south, passing through different regions and towns in a journey that explores the question: who is allowed to belong in this country?

Divided into six chapters, the Wanderer (Perside Rodrigues), dressed in a bright red coat, stands out against the differing stark and lush English landscapes as a melodic voice-over and dialogue ensues about class, economic exclusion, cultural heritage and the meaning of home.

It is a surreal and rather ambitious debut feature film by Larry Achiampong which you need to be open to, particularly as you may find your mind wandering off listening to the lyrical narrative, reflecting on the division and the crisis in Britain today, set against the gentle captivating visuals.

Very much an acquired taste.

MD

In cinemas

 

Minions 2: The Rise of Gru (U)
Directed by Kyle Balda
★★★

THE adorable Minions are finally reunited with their devilish leader Gru, who aims to be the world’s greatest supervillain, in this fun-filled action-packed sequel set in the 1970s.

At 11 and three-quarters, Gru (Steve Carell), a fanboy of the infamous supervillain group known as the Vicious 6, decides he is going to to join them by carrying out the most evil act with the help of his loyal followers Kevin, Stuart, Bob and newbie Otto.

With a fabulous ’70s soundtrack and the hilarious antics of the Minions, who really only work when they are teamed up with Gru (as the first Minions film proved), this is a riotous and joyous ride.

Carell is on fine form again as Gru, with Dame Julie Andrews returning as his mother. The new voice cast includes Michelle Yeoh, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Taraji P Henson.

A film which will appeal to both youngsters and their parents alike.

MD
In cinemas

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