tv The Film Review BBC News December 12, 2021 6:45pm-7:00pm GMT
hello and a very warm welcome as ever to the film review on bbc news. taking us through this week's cinema releases, mark kermode is back. hello, what have you been watching? we have a modern folktale called lamb. steven spielberg's reimagining of west side story. and being the ricardos, revisiting lucille ball. really interesting week. good mixture. yeah. let's start with lamb. i want to sell this to you, 0k? yeah, yeah, i'm upforthis, yes. here's the thing, the trailer makes it look like a folk horror in the mould
of the witch or something. i'm here to tell you it's not that, 0k? i know you don't like horror movies. 0k. no, it does look like that from the trailer. it's not a horror movie at all. noomi rapace — who is brilliant in almost everything — plays maria, who lives with her partner, on a very, very remote icelandic farm. when a strange lamb is born, they take the lamb into their house and start raising it as their own child. they're completely alone, and we just see the world as they see it. gradually, we start to see the lamb in the same way that they do, as more human than animal. but meanwhile, the sheep that birthed the lamb seems to want it back. still with me? yes. here's a clip. sheep bleats. bleating intensifies.
it's so atmospheric there, isn't it? and the landscape is beautiful, yeah. you feel that the score is coming up from the landscape. so here's the thing, this is directed by valdimarjohannsson and written by sjon — and i'm sure my pronunciation is terrible — who is a poet and novelist who has worked with him. and i think the poet thing is important. because what this is is like a screen poem or like a fairy tale. it's a story which if someone recounted it to you, if they told you this story, you'd go, "0k fine. "yeah, i'm playing along with that". when you turn it into a film, it's like, how much of this do i accept is happening? how much of it is to do with what the couple imgaine? because there's a point halfway through where a brother turns up and says, "what on earth is going on?"
and half the audience will be going, "what on earth is going on?" and the other half of the audience will be going, "no, this make sense." because this is a film about grief. it's a film about dealing with real emotions and real anxieties, and, you know, very, very human ideas. but in a fabulist way that takes an idea that sounds like it's from a fairy tale or a nursery rhyme even, and turns it into a movie that almost dares you to go, "i'm sorry, what on earth is going on?" sometimes, there are moments of almost absured comedy in it, a brilliant performance by noomi rapace. this whole thing is fantastically atmospheric. and i thought it was really moving. and i generally think it's a film that, i mean, you can hear how difficult it is to describe with words. it's very, very hard to categorize. yes. i think that you would really like it, and i want to reiterate no matter what the trailer looks like, it's not a horror movie. it has elements of horror in the same way that, you know,
grimm's fairy tales have horrifying elements, hansel and gretel would for example. i can't decide whether i would be just slightly disturbed by it. disturbed is fine, unsettled is fine. but you loved petit maman, right? oh, yes, loved it. 0k, similar use of fairy tale. there's a central conceit where you go, "0k, well, i just accept that." i accept that idea that you accept in petit maman. yes, you do, yes. these two characters are actually who they say they are. the same is true of lamb, even though the central conceit is even more unusual. 0k. defying, you know, explanation is good sometimes. yeah. west side story. steven spielberg is still beavering away. this is a real passion project. are you a fan of the original? on stage. i've seen it on stage as a theatre goer. 0h, isee. i've not seen it on stage. i've not seen the film because i think of it as a stage musical. yeah, well, i've never seen the stage production. so this is a new version, obviously was filmed in the �*60s by robert wise and jerome robbins.
so this is a new version by steven spielberg, which on the one hand, it's a reimagining. there is centrally, in terms of the casting, it does away with a lot of the casting issues of the originalfilm. it has a couple of terrific performances. rachel zegler�*s terrific, ariana debose is really, really good. i'm not entirely convinced by ansel elgort, who i think is a kind of slightly weak male lead, but it doesn't matter because the film itself, and i don't mean this as a criticism, the film is really technically skilful, and when you are talking about a dance movie, technically skilful is a really important thing. it's ultra—widescreen, it's 239. the look of the film, you know, it is a period of peace, and the look of the film is very much in keeping with the time of the film. they have made alterations and updates. there is a lovely role for rita moreno that provides the genetic link between the old version that everybody loves, even if they have problems with it, and this new version. and you said at the beginning, it's a passion project. you know, it's something that is a labour of love. you can feel how much
spielberg loves the material. i mean, i remember going to see west side story as a kid and being, you know, i wanted to be in thejets afterwards, coming out and doing thejet walk. i think this may well introduce a whole new generation to it. the only thing i wonder is, is there a whole new generation who haven't seen the original? you see, the thing with this is, it's different enough to be its own film, but i think it won't annoy the people who love the original because it is in love with the original. that's interesting, because there'll be people watching going, why do you need to remake that? you need to remake it because the casting issues of the original are very, very problematic. and also because why not? because, you know, it's kind of a timeless story. it's romeo and juliet. it is... which is a great story. will you see it? yes, i'm interested. yes. i want to know what you think. i'm not always sure about musicals in a cinema, anyway, we'll come back to that. i shall let you know what i think. the third film is set in the �*50s as well. being the ricardos, which is aaron sorkin�*s new film. nicole kidman and javier bardem are lucille ball and desi arnaz. the film plays out in a week
following press accusations that she is a communist, or that she was a member of the communist party or she was going to vote for the communist party. what we get is the rehearsals leading up to the recording of the show in which whether there is going to be a show is completely in doubt, so she wants the show to be the best it can because it may be her last. here's a clip. lucy guesses some names. yeah, teasingly. and the script indicates that ricky takes his hands away from lucy's eyes, turns her around and says... "no, it's me!" so, my question again, jess — does ricky honestly, truly believe that there might be eight different men who routinely walk into their apartment, all of whom sound exactly like desi arnaz? do you think we're . saying ricky's stupid? i think you're saying the audience is, and that's something for which they won't soon forgive you. you charge for these lessons? a ton. now, i think that's an interesting
performance because that thing about playing somebody who's famous and whose mannerisms were always sort of slightly strange — and there is something very mannered about that performance. but that's right because that's the character she's playing. what the film is doing is, the thing that aaron sorkin does. it's taking a political situation and personal situation and a showbiz situation and putting them all together, let's compress everything so in the course of this week, there's a story about her husband being unfaithful, there's the problem about whether or not america will turn its back on herfor her communism allegations. and there is a question about whether the show, which she has to do week in, week out, which is the thing that has made her the icon that she is, is going to be good enough to save her career. so, again, it's a contrivance, and, you know, the writer—director is certainly not above great, dramatic, melodramatic grandstanding, but i kind of enjoyed it. i mean, i thought that... what it managed to do, i didn't know anything about the background story about lucille ball at all. that's the thing. because i was going to say, does this resonate to a british audience? because she was so super famous
in the us, but not...as famous here. i remember watching the show on british television. obviously not when it first went out, because it was rerun later on, as with all american shows. they did end up on uk tv at some point. yeah. i mean, i think she's iconic enough. but i think the really interesting thing is i didn't know about the political story at all. so i didn't actually know how this was all going to play out. of course, sorkin is the master of very biting satirical dialogue. so if anyone�*s going to do this, he's the person to do it. it is televisual. it's in cinemas now, and then it's on amazon prime from the 21st. and i think its major audience will be at home on television, but then, considering the subject matter, that's, kind of, you know, appropriate. and there's absolutely no foul in it being primarily a tv production. that is what it feels like. now... best out? encounter. i love encounter. riz ahmed is a decorated marine who picks his kids up in the middle of the night and tells them that he's involved in a secret operation
against non—terrestrial organisms. so it's a road movie, it's an alien invasion movie, it's a psychological thriller, it's a movie about family bonds. did you like it? uh... that pause is everything! that pause says everything. i'm really sorry, i was quite bored! bored?! i'm sorry, i know, i know, ifailed my homework. but i like riz ahmed. i thought the... i liked his relationship with his boys. i thought the the young actor who played the eldest son in particular was amazing, really captivating. both kids are great, both kids are great. i really sort of wanted to like it because i liked the road trip elements, and i loved the big sweeping skies in nevada and california and all the rest of it. but now i've just told you all the good things i liked. but i was quite bored. i'm amazed. i'm afraid it was that terrible thing where you look at your watch, and you think, we must be about an hour in, and it's only a0 minutes then. it's only 90 minutes long! you weren't gripped by the relationship between him and the boys and him and everything else that's going on around him? there were elements that get more interesting, and i don't
want to do plot spoilers. no, which we shouldn't. and i do like riz ahmed. but, ifound it a bit pedestrian. 0k, again i'm... sorry. i know i failed. did you love the music? um... failed! i didn't really particularly think anything about the music. oh, god, do i need to go and see it again to listen to the music? no, no, it's fine, your homework for next week is to see west side story, because i want to know what you think of that. well, hey, look, you know, you win some and lose some. right? 0k. if you don't like bugs and creepy crawlies, don't go and see it. i did a bit of that. but if you do like bugs and creepy crawlies, do you see this and then see a movie called bug, based on the tracy letts stage play, which is really interesting. i know you won't watch that because you didn't like this. not so much. no. 0k. dvds? very quickly, hand of god, which i think... it's in cinemas now but it's going to be on netflix from wednesday, and it's a lovely little film. mainly to be seen at home. mark, thank you. see you next week.
enjoy your cinema—going whatever you're watching. i'm off the christmas card list! see you, bye—bye. that's it! laughter hello, through sunday we also marred their working its way through the uk. this is a weather front and there is another front waiting to come in from the two a centre of low pressure, that will push through the north—west of the uk into the small hours of monday, a very windy evening and night to come for the western isles and the northern isles of scotland. some further showers feeding in on that wind generally to the north west of the mainland. this front trails away further south down into england and wales, a very mild night to the south of the front, though, temperatures 10—11, as our overnight lows. monday daytime, we will see
the front bringing further rain into wales for a time, parts of the midlands, perhaps up into lincolnshire. to the south of the front, maybe a little bit of brightness, certainly again a mild 12 or 13 degrees. to the north of the front, temperatures return closer to average values, but actually only briefly because monday into tuesday, we start to bring our next frontal system into play, and that will actually pull milder air into the north of the uk for tuesday. quite breezy for northern ireland and scotland, quite a lot of cloud at times, some rain for the far north of scotland but actually, possibly our warmest spots in the uk to the far north of the scotland on tuesday, temperatures 11 or maybe even 12 degrees here. it is a shade cooler further south across england and wales on tuesday. for wednesday, our weather story focuses further south, really, with this area of high pressure increasingly coming into play. yes, there is still a weather front around for the north but it is diving into that area of high pressure, so that is going to really take the juice out of it, if you like. there will be some rain initially for scotland and northern ireland but mostlyjust cloud by the time
that front sinks into northern england later in the day. our temperatures are still a shade above average in many areas through wednesday, highs of ii or 12 degrees. and then, through the latter part of the week, we are really going to start to see this area of high pressure taking hold and it looks like it's going to get well established and stick around even into next weekend. initially, pretty mild air being pulled up around the western side of the high, but it looks like come next weekend the high could shift further eastwards and drag in some colder airfrom the north. certainly it looks like there will be quite a lot of cloud though, mist and fog stuck under that high through thursday and friday. so quite grey and gloomy to end the week.
this is bbc news the headlines at seven. the uk covid alert level has been increased to level 4, meaning there's widespread pressure on health services — because of the rapid increase in omicron cases. the prime minister will make a televised address this evening it comes as the first people in the uk have been hospitalised with omicron. new cases of the variant are up 65 percent in the last 2a hours.. there is concern about the level of hospitalisations we might see but we just need to wait for a bit longer to really see how some of the other symptoms are people who catch this new variant her. symptoms are people who catch this new variant her. the political pressure mounts on borisjohnson — facing a possible rebellion from his mps over covid rules,