Sic Semper Tyrannis

So many of this week’s releases are about power, and those who hold it. It’s weird, right? Anyway.

Dear Dictator: Michael Caine gives a surprisingly considered performance as a Latin American autocrat (third-generation, don’t ask) who takes refuge with an ordinary American teenager(Odeya Rush) in this disappointing high-concept comedy.

The Death of Stalin: Armando Iannucci’s razor-toothed comedy stars Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Simon Russell Beale, Rupert Friend, Andrea Riseborough and Jason Isaacs as some of the magnificent bastards scheming to fill the Soviet power vacuum when their Great Leader strokes out. Bloody great satire.

Foxtrot: Susan digs Samuel Maoz’ multifaceted Israeli drama about the weight of perpetual war — and hey, there’s Lior Ashkenazi, who also turns up this week in 7 Days in Entebbe as Yitzhak Rabin! No, really!

The Leisure Seeker:  Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren — reunited three decades after Bethune: The Making of a Hero — do terrific work in Paolo Virzi’s very bad movie about an aging couple who embark on One Last Road Trip in an ancient Winnebago. 

Love, Cecil: Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s documentary celebrates the life and work of photographer and Oscar-winning costume designer Cecil Beaton. I have not seen it.

Love, Simon: Glenn really liked Greg Berlanti’s dramedy, which stars Nick Robinson as a closeted kid trying to figure out which other teen in his school is the anonymous queer blogger for whom he’s fallen. 

7 Days in Entebbe: You guys, I’m starting to think Jose Padilha might not be all that bright. He’s certainly not the best choice to tackle this complicated snapshot of recent Middle East history, which wastes a great international cast and a lot of Working Title’s money.

Tomb Raider: The videogame franchise gets a reboot that’s better than it has any right to be, thanks to a genuinely great performance from Alicia Vikander than makes Lara Croft a human being instead of an action figure. Also, Jimmy McNulty and Shane Ventrell finally get to punch each other.

That’s everything! Oh, and also I’m hosting the last TIFF Reel Talk Sneak Preview of the season on Sunday morning. Tickets are still available; come down to the Lightbox and help me see it off!

2 thoughts on “Sic Semper Tyrannis”

  1. So, with Tomb Raider, do you get handed a video game controller as you go into the theatre or do you have to bring your own? (There was a scene in the trailer that was definitely put in there to make anyone who’s played the games want to mash the x button.)

    1. There’s only one moment that -really- feels like a videogame. Most of the action sequences are surprisingly (and thankfully) reality-based — and the opening bike chase through a very real London is glorious.

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