1. Kumiko the Treasure Hunter
This is a sweet, strange film, starring Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Pacific Rim, 47 Ronin) on a journey in search of a fortune. Trapped in between an over-bearing Mother and a thankless job as a secretary, Kumiko makes the discovery of a battered VHS of Fargo. Believing that the loot hidden by Steve Buscemi’s character is real, Kumiko and her rabbit Bunzo, leave her sheltered life in Tokyo behind for the wastelands of Minnesota. Already picking up nominations for Best Actress and Best Director at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, this understated film could fast become a cult hit.
Showing at Picturehouse at the National Media Museum Bradford from the 9th – 12th March and Hyde Park Picture House from 14th March
2. While We’re Young
Technically a film for next month, as it premiers on 3rd April, but too good to wait for!
While We’re Young features the stellar cast of Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as 40 something Manhattanites, Josh and Cornelia alongside Adam Driver and Amanda Seyfried as ultimate New York hipsters, Jamie and Derby. With the latter’s love of retro-chic and endless urge to party, the friendship between these two couples grows, as Josh struggles to make the ultimate documentary and impress Cornelia’s father, Leslie. While We’re Young is filled with nostalgia, envy and wondering if we will ever be good enough for our parents. Josh and Cornelia’s urge to re-capture their misspent youth is compelling. After all when is it really time to grow up?
Out in Cinemas from 3rd April
3. The Voices
Now for something a little darker, with Ryan Reynolds in The Voices. Jerry is a warehouse worker whose bright pink jumpsuit hides the disturbing split personality of a serial killer, with the two sides of his conscience represented by his evil cat Mr Whiskas and forgiving dog Bosco. When he says “My pets talk to me and I sometimes talk to them”, he’s really not joking, as these two sides battle over whether he should kill his crush, Fiona (Gemma Arterton). His friendship with Lisa (Anna Kendrick) adds a sweet love interest, even though Jerry is a little more Norman Bates than Casanova. With deeply surreal scenes of talking corpses and a Chinese Elvis, The Voices will leave you torn as to whether it’s a serious take on the darker side of mental health, or just a weirdly twisted head trip.
Out in Cinemas 20th March
Another film set in the urban hotspot of Brooklyn, New York, Appropriate Behaviour is a coming of age tale for the Girls generation. It’s no secret that Lena Dunham is a big fan of Desiree Akhavan’s directorial début, already signing her up for a part in the shows fourth series.
Desiree also stars in the film as likeable loser, Shirin, getting over being dumped by her girlfriend and stuck living with a community of pretentious artists. We follow her as she attempts to win back ex Maxine (Rebecca Henderson) and figure out how to explain her bisexuality to her traditional, Persian parents. Shirin is adorably clueless, success in jobs and relationships seem to elude her and she is ‘one bad relationship away from moving to Paris and changing my identity’. Despite the obvious comparisons to Dunham’s ‘Tiny Furniture’, Appropriate Behaviour is a likeable film with uncomfortably hilarious moments and a relatable warmth all of its own.
5.Maxine Peake as Hamlet
[Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk]
Although not strictly a film in its own right this filming of Maxine Peake as Hamlet at the Royal Exchange in Manchester captures an actress in her prime taking on a titanic, traditionally male role.For those few not familiar with Shakespeare’s tragedy, this prince of Denmark has seen his father murdered and his mother swiftly married to his Uncle Claudius (played by John Shrapnel). Haunted by dreams and plagued by ghosts Hamlet is a disturbed figure, toying with the desire for revenge and confused by her feelings for Ophelia (played by Katie West) he teeters on the verge of madness. Maxine Peake is breath-taking as she veers dangerously between rage and despair. Perfect for those who missed the sold-out performances in Manchester, this is intense viewing and gives a darkly exciting slant on a well-worn tale.
Hyde Park Picture House 23rd March
Everyman Cinema, Leeds 23rd March