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Baby Driver

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English director Edgar Wright’s latest and most successful film to date is Baby Driver, which plays fairly straight as a heist movie. Ansel Elgort plays the eponymous “Baby”, a youthful, introverted but preternaturally talented getaway driver who works for criminal big-shot “Doc” (a sauve but occasionally menacing Kevin Spacey), who plans assorted bank robberies and recruits a revolving gang of thugs to carry them out, always with Baby as the driver…

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Sing Street

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Oh to be young and in love, in 1980s Ireland… How do you win over the girl of your dreams? Impress her! The fact that you’re the lead singer in a band is surely a winner. But hang on, Conor is not a singer, nor is he in a band… Luckily the naive optimism and creativity of youth quickly solves those minor problems, with a bit of help from various random schoolmates and his older brother Brendan on the one hand, and a bit of hindrance from his parents and the school principal on the other. And so his wooing of Raphina begins…

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The Visitor (7/10)

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Richard Jenkins is one of those actors most people will recognise but you’re not quite sure what movie(s) you remember him from. He is a strong supporting actor, but in The Visitor he has the one lead role he has ever played in a movie to date – and it earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

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Hail Caesar! (6/10)

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“Hail Caesar!” is a gentle comedy on the surface, but seems to me more a homage to the glory days of the Hollywood studio system in the 1930s-50s. At that time the “big five” studios (Warner, RKO, Fox, Loew and Paramount) controlled every aspect of film production, from script writing through to distribution. Actors were on contract to a studio, who managed every aspect of their career and their public image.

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Love & Mercy (7/10)

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Of course I know a number of Beach Boys hits, but I can’t say I am a particur fan so I didn’t know much about -as per the movie’s tagline- ‘the life, love and genius of Brian Wilson’. Two hours later, and now I do.

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Whiplash (8/10)

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An ambitious drummer goes to a prestigious conservatory where he meets an even more ambitious teacher. Which one of them turns out to be the bigger musical genious, the bigger egotistical maniac, or the arrogantly victorious hero in the end…?

The script is very tight and narrowly focused – probably fair to call it myopic – on these two leads. All other characters are just there in support of strengthening the focus on the battle between these two characters.

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