THIS WEEK’S FILM RELEASES (10TH – 16TH APRIL 2023)

Another Easter Sunday has come and gone, but as ever the chocolate eggs make it all worthwhile – as does the new selection of films just round the corner, so spend your Easter Monday going through the numerous movies coming out this week! This week, we have a fang-tastic horror-comedy, an anime fantasy drama, a Scorsese classic, and much more…


MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Renfield (dir. Chris McKay)

CAST: Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, Adrian Martinez, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Bess Rous, James Moses Black, Caroline Williams, Brandon Scott Jones, Miles Doleac

CREW: Chris McKay (director, producer), Ryan Ridley (writer), David Alpert, Bryan Furst, Sean Furst and Robert Kirkman (producers), Marco Beltrami (composer), Mitchell Amundsen (cinematographer), Ryan Folsey, Giancarlo Ganziano and Mako Kamitsuna (editors)

PLOT: R.M. Renfield (Hoult) – who has served as the henchman for the legendary Count Dracula (Cage) for centuries – has grown weary of his servitude to the blood-sucking monster, and seeks to start a new life for himself in modern-day New Orleans, where he falls in love with traffic cop Rebecca (Awkwafina). However, he can’t seem to escape his former boss no matter where he goes…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Nicolas Cage as Dracula – a role that the legendary actor has wanted to play for years – is surely enough reason to want to seek this out!

2) In case it isn’t, though, this modern-day comedic spin on the Bram Stoker legend focuses on the put-upon assistant to the mighty vampire, played winningly by Nicholas Hoult

3) Director Chris McKay, who previously brought warmth and humour to The LEGO Batman Movie, brings the same level of energy to a violent, funny, and above all fresh new story

4) There’s plenty of material for Dracula fans to chew on, from fun references to the classic story, to the surprisingly gruesome level of action and gore that one can only hope to see in a Dracula movie

5) Did we already mention that Nicolas Cage is playing Dracula?

Renfield is showing in cinemas from Friday 14th April 2023


WHAT’S COMING TO CINEMAS THIS WEEK?

Suzume (dir. Makoto Shinkai)

CAST (ENGLISH): Nichole Sakura, Josh Keaton, Jennifer Sun Bell, Roger Craig Smith, Amanda C. Miller, Rosalie Chiang, Allegra Clark, Cam Clarke, Joe Zieja, Lena Josephien Marano, Mela Lee, Bennet Hetrick

CAST (JAPANESE): Nanoka Hara, Hokuto Matsumura, Eri Fukatsu, Shota Sometani, Sairi Ito, Kotone Hanase, Kana Hanazawa, Matsumoto Hakuō II, Ryūnosuke Kamiki, Ann Yamane, Aimi, Akari Miura

CREW: Makoto Shinkai (director, writer, editor), Kôichirô Itô and Genki Kawamura (producers), Kazuma Jinnouchi and Radwimps (composers), editor TBA

PLOT: Suzume (Sakura/Hara) is a seventeen-year-old who encounters a mysterious young man named Sōta (Keaton/Matsumura), and assists him on his quest to close a number of magical doors to different realms, through which a dangerous threat could emerge and cause destruction if the doors aren’t fully closed…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Anime legend Makoto Shinkai, most famous for films like Your Name and Weathering With You, presents his most fantastical triumph yet

2) His latest animated epic combines a compelling modern fantasy arc with the get-up of a disaster movies, and also throws in a sweet teen romance as well, because why the hell not?!

3) As ever, the animation is absolutely stunning to look at, brought about by a commendable team of animators under Shinkai’s sharp watch

4) This film is said to conclude a saga that has developed through Shinkai’s previous features, including Your Name, Weathering With You, and his earlier project The Garden of Words

5) Early buzz has declared this to be a solid early frontrunner for the year’s best animated film, which is quite gutsy to declare in April!

Suzume is showing in cinemas from Friday 14th April 2023

Assassin Club (dir. Camille Delamarre)

CAST: Henry Golding, Noomi Rapace, Daniela Melchior, Sam Neill, Claudio Del Falco, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Anastasia Doaga

CREW: Camille Delamarre (director, editor), Thomas Dunn (writer), Kieran Corrigan, Jordan Dykstra, Todd Lundbohm, Emanuele Moretti and Ellen S. Wander (producers), Alexandre Azaria (composer), Matthew Chuang (cinematographer), Mickael Dumontier (editor)

PLOT: In a world of elite assassins, contract killer Morgan Gaines (Golding) is hired to kill six people around the world, only to discover that all the targets are also killers who have been unknowingly recruited to kill each other – and him. Now, Morgan must fight his way through a collection of dangerous assassins in order to protect the people he loves…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) This is a fun, high-octane action ride that gives you everything you’d want out of a fun bullet-loaded adventure

2) The ever-charismatic Henry Golding leads a fine international cast in what could very well be his main audition to become the next James Bond

3) French editor-turned-director Camille Delamarre, a veteran of Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, shoots his vision with exceeding energy and top-level suspense

4) It promises a whole bunch of grimy, unapologetic action movie violence that hits all the sweet spots in the genre

5) The level of non-stop action is immense, and leaves you with a racing pulse by the time it wraps up

Assassin Club is showing in cinemas from Friday 14th April 2023

One Fine Morning (dir. Mia Hansen-Løve)

CAST: Léa Seydoux, Pascal Greggory, Melvil Poupaud, Nicole Garcia, Fejria Deliba, Camille Leban Martins, Sarah Le Picard, Pierre Meunier

CREW: Mia Hansen-Løve (director, writer), Philippe Martin, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul and David Thion (producers), Denis Lenoir (cinematographer), Marion Monnier (editor)

PLOT: Sandra (Seydoux) is a young single mother struggling to look after her ailing father Georg (Greggory), who is suffering from a rare neurodegenerative disease. Whilst searching for a suitable care home, Sandra crosses paths with Clément (Poupard), a married friend of her late husband, and the two begin a passionate affair…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The latest film by acclaimed French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve is a subtle romance that explores our deepest needs and wants in life

2) Former Bond girl Léa Seydoux is on passionate form in the challenging lead role, and has memorable support from fellow French thespian Pascal Greggory as her deteriorating on-screen father

3) Hansen-Løve’s film was a hit at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the Europa Cinemas Label, a prestigious honour given by exhibitors to outstanding European films

4) It also marks the director’s second consecutive film to be released in the UK by Mubi, after last year’s Bergman Island

5) There’s plenty of romance, drama, passion and some occasional lighter moments to reach beyond speciality audiences

One Fine Morning is showing in cinemas nationwide from Friday 14th April 2023 (and will be streaming exclusively on MUBI from Friday 16th June 2023)

The Curse of Rosalie (dir. Will Klipstine)

CAST: Madeleine McGraw, Will Klipstine, Amanda MacDonald, Irene Bedard, Steve Monroe, Jeremy Gauna, Teal Redmann, Kate Luyben, Bruce Bohne, Rick Mora, Emily Fradenburgh, Jamie Bozian, Vincent Duvall, Alex Galick, Sally-Anne Hunt, Charles Hubbell, Jeromy Darling, Heidi Fellner, Trevor Keeth, Kevin Christopher Lokey, Lance Wagner, Megan Kelly Hubbell, Jon Dittman

CREW: Will Klipstine (director, writer, producer), Amy Mills (writer, producer), Steven Reed (producer), Chad Olivera (composer), Jose Zambrano Cassella (cinematographer), Clayton Condit (editor)

PLOT: When their young daughter Rosalie (McGraw) displays some disturbing traits, her parents Daniel (Klipstine) and Theresa (McDonald) move to a small Midwestern town in order to help her find peace. Shortly after arriving, however, their neighbours begin to die under mysterious and increasingly supernatural circumstances, leading the family to a Native seer (Bedard) who may hold the key to figuring out what may be possessing the child…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Known elsewhere as The Harbinger (re-named in the UK so as not to be confused with the recent COVID-themed horror of the same name), this is a chilling possession story with frightening consequences for everyone

2) Madeleine McGraw, the young actor best known for delivering a film-stealing turn in last year’s The Black Phone, delivers an eerie central performance that gives the likes of Linda Blair and Haley Joel Osment a run for their money

3) The film’s director and co-writer Will Klipstine also features in the film as the concerned father of McGraw’s character, with a meaty supporting role for Native actor Irene Bedard (who some of you may recognise as the voice of Disney’s Pocahontas)

4) It introduces audiences to some terrifying new demons, as well as their sinister game when it comes to the mind and soul of this young child

5) The movie has the distinction of featuring the biggest-ever set constructed in the state of Minnesota, which should be quite interesting to many of the film-loving locals!

The Curse of Rosalie is showing in cinemas from Friday 14th April 2023 (and is now streaming exclusively on Icon Film Channel)

Loving Highsmith (dir. Eva Vitija)

CAST: Patricia Highsmith, Gwendoline Christie, Annina Butterworth, Marijane Meaker, Courtney Coates Blackman, Judy Coates, Dan Coates, Monique Buffet, Tabea Blumenschein, Maren Kroymann

CREW: Eva Vitija (director, writer), Franziska Sonder and Maurizius Staerkle Drux (producers), Noël Akchoté (composer), Siri Klug (cinematographer), Rebecca Trösch (editor)

PLOT: The life of Patricia Highsmith, the celebrated American author whose diaries and notebooks, along with the input of lovers, family and friends, offer an insight into her private identity…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Documentarian Eva Vitija tells the unique story of acclaimed author Patricia Highsmith, known for several books-turned-films such as The Talented Mr. Ripley, Strangers on a Train and The Price of Salt (later republished and adapted as Carol)

2) Actor Gwendoline Christie features via voiceover for a dramatic reading of Highsmith’s personal writings, which offer a deeper insight into her private affairs

3) Her sexuality, a taboo subject in her lifetime, is a core theme that runs deep here, saying a lot about the repressive stereotypes most women were expected to abide by in the early twentieth century

4) Several interviewees recount some intimate encounters with Highsmith, and how she may be more misunderstood than we ever expected

5) It’s gripping, deeply personal stuff that Highsmith fans will definitely want to check out

Loving Highsmith is showing in cinemas from Friday 14th April 2023

Cairo Conspiracy (dir. Tarik Saleh)

CAST: Tawfeek Barhom, Fares Fares, Mohammad Bakri, Makram Khoury, Mehdi Dehbi, Moe Ayoub, Sherwan Haji, Abduljabbar Alsuhili, Ahmed Lassaoui, Jalal Altawil, Ramzi Choukair, Yunus Albayrak, Mouloud Ayad, Amr Mosad

CREW: Tarik Saleh (director, writer), Kristina Åberg and Fredrik Zander (producers), Krister Linder (composer), Pierre Aïm (cinematographer), Theis Schmidt (editor)

PLOT: In Egypt, Adam (Barhom), the son of a fisherman, is accepted into the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo, which is considered to be the epicentre of power in Sunni Islam. However, when the university’s Grand Imam suddenly drops dead, Adam becomes an unlikely pawn in the following power struggle between Egypt’s religious and political figures…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Swedish filmmaker Tarik Saleh creates a compelling and timely political thriller that engages with the ruthless battle for power and its peaceful pretences

2) The film is an international co-production between Finland, France, and Saleh’s native Sweden, but was filmed in Turkey since production in Egypt itself was not an option (owing to Saleh’s ban from the country)

3) Fares Fares, the acclaimed Swedish-Lebanese actor who has appeared in a number of Saleh’s previous films, reunites with the filmmaker once more in a meaty supporting role

4) It debuted to a warm reception, but also a fair amount of controversy, at last year’s Cannes Film Festival (where it competed for the coveted Palme D’Or), and even made the shortlist for this year’s International Feature Film Oscar (though sadly it wasn’t ultimately nominated)

5) The film revels in the kind of mysterious, carefully layered political storytelling that the late author John le Carré was best known for

Cairo Conspiracy is showing in cinemas from Friday 14th April 2023


WHAT’S RETURNING TO CINEMAS THIS WEEK?

Raging Bull (dir. Martin Scorsese)

CAST: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, Nicholas Colasanto, Theresa Saldana, Frank Vincent, Lori Anne Flax, Mario Gallo, Frank Adonis, Joseph Bono, Frank Topham, Charles Scorsese, Geraldine Smith, Candy Moore, James V. Christy, Laura James, Peter Savage, Don Dunphy, McKenzie Westmore, Gene LeBell, Shay Duffin, Coley Wallace, Johnny Barnes, Bill Hanrahan, Kevin Mahon, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Floyd Anderson, Johnny Turner, Louis Raftis

CREW: Martin Scorsese (director), Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin (writers), Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler (producers), Michael Chapman (cinematographer), Thelma Schoonmaker (editor)

PLOT: In 1940s New York, boxer Jake LaMotta (De Niro) displays a ferocious temper and penchant for violence that brought him professional success, but also destroyed his personal life and relationships with his brother Joey (Pesci) and his wife Vickie (Moriarty)…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) Martin Scorsese’s timeless sports biopic, often regarded as one of the greatest films ever made, returns to cinemas with a brand-new 4K restoration

2) Robert De Niro, who went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his riveting portrayal of real-life boxer Jake LaMotta, famously put on sixty pounds to portray the figure in his later years, setting the benchmark for dedicated method acting

3) The film also launched the careers of then-unknown actors Joe Pesci (who would later win his own Oscar under Scorsese’s direction in Goodfellas) and Cathy Moriarty

4) Its stark black-and-white cinematography, and its innovative camerawork that was among the first in cinematic history to capture the action inside the boxing ring, perfectly captures the film’s dark and brooding tone

5) Scorsese truly became a household name after the release of this film, which by then had already been on the rise thanks to Taxi Driver and Mean Streets, and would of course continue to solidify himself as one of our greatest filmmakers in the forty-plus years afterwards

Raging Bull is showing in cinemas from Friday 14th April 2023

Three Colours: Red (dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski)

CAST: Irène Jacob, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean-Pierre Lorit, Frederique Feder, Samuel Le Bihan, Marion Stalens, Teco Celio, Bernard Escalon, Jean Schlegel, Roland Carey

CREW: Krzysztof Kieślowski (director, writer), Krzysztof Piesiewicz (writer), Marin Karmitz (producer), Zbigniew Preisner (composer), Piotr Sobocinski (cinematographer), Jacques Witta (editor)

PLOT: In Geneva, student and part-time model Valentine (Jacob) accidentally hits a dog with her car, which leads her to encounter its owner, retired judge Joseph Kern (Trintignant), whose hobby consists of regularly spying on his neighbour’s phone calls…

FIVE REASONS TO BE EXCITED:

1) The third and final entry in Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colours trilogy gets its own 4K re-release, following previous entries Blue and White from the past few weeks

2) Red is by far the most acclaimed of the trilogy, with an unprecedented perfect critics score on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, and even earned Kieślowski an Oscar nomination for Best Director

3) Like Blue and White before it, Red represents a colour from the French flag and is thematically linked to a French Revolutionary ideal, in this case being that of fraternity

4) There are some surprising connections to the previous two films, despite each of them having almost nothing else to do with one another

5) It is also a bittersweet entry, because it ended up being the final film of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s career, since he died two years after this film was released

Three Colours: Red is showing in cinemas from Friday 14th April 2023


That’s about it for this week – thanks for joining us, and be sure to come back next week for a whole new set of movies to work up an appetite for!

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