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Popcorn and Opinions: March 5

As the last few Oscar-nominated films trickle into our cinemas, some newish films are starting to arrive too. Our in-house movie expert, Howard Elias, is here to fill us in on what’s worth seeing this week. For Howard’s last review click here.

Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher may have missed out taking home gold at the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the SAGs and the BAFTAs, but that doesn’t mean you should miss funnyman Steve Carell’s transformational performance as the creepily eccentric egomaniac John “Eagle” du Pont, an heir to the family’s fortune and (then) patron of the US Olympic wrestling team. This could have been a superlative film but the screenplay’s loose handling of facts unfortunately pins it to the mat.

Showing everywhere.

Focus

How much do I hate Will Smith’s (Men In Black) latest effort? Let me see… First, there is the awful acting, particularly by Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street), and then there is the completely predictable storyline. And let me not forget about the ridiculous dialogue and a preposterous connection to a Rolling Stones song. Focus is a foc(us)ing bad film!

Showing at the AMC, Broadway, Grand and UA cinemas.

Leviathan

Leave it to the Russians to explore the heavy Biblical question of “Why do the righteous suffer?” In this modern day retelling of the story of Job, Kolya (Aleksei Serebryakov) is an out-of-work mechanic in the northern coastal town of Pribrezhny. He happens to own a stunning piece of property that has caught the eye of the town’s corrupt mayor. Try as he may to hold on to his land, his family and his friends, the cards are stacked against him and, like Job, he must suffer. Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Golden Globes, Leviathan paints a very bleak portrait of life under Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church. It is well worth your time and money.

Showing at the Broadway cinemas.


Howard Elias is a Hong Kong-based film critic and film event organiser. You can hear his reviews every Thursday morning at about 8:40 am on RTHK Radio 4, and read his reviews anytime on his website at howardforfilm.com.

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